Rockies 4, Astros 1

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DENVER (AP)—Vinny Castilla was more excited about the timing of his big hit than the record he established.

Castilla set a franchise record with an RBI in his 10th straight game and the Colorado Rockies avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Houston Astros 4-1 Sunday.

“I was aware of the record after the last game, so when I did it today I knew I had it,” said Castilla, who was given a day off Saturday. “It was nice, but the most important thing was that the hit came at a time to make the lead 4-1.”

Castilla had two hits and two RBIs to pass Todd Helton, who drove in a run in nine straight May 6-15, 2001.

“I am a more patient hitter than before, and I can sit on my pitch,” Castilla said. “I am still aggressive with the bat, but I am a little more selective.”

Joe Kennedy (3-0) allowed a run and five hits, struck out four and walked two in 6 1-3 innings. It was the second time in his career that he’s won three consecutive starts.

“Joe was effective with the same recipe: a two-seam fastball, a tight fastball in, his changeup, and he gave them some sliders against a very good right-handed lineup,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “I think he’s pitching at the top of his game.”

Mark Sweeney hit his first home run since June 13 for the Rockies, who have never been swept at home by the Astros.

Kennedy outpitched Wade Miller (2-2), who worked seven innings and gave up two runs and six hits.

“Wade didn’t pitch a bad game, but Kennedy pitched better,” Houston manager Jimy Williams said. “He had our hitters off balance, changing speeds and had location.”

Colorado scored first. Castilla and Jeromy Burnitz singled leading off the second inning, and Castilla scored on Charles Johnson’s double-play grounder.

Miller tied it 1-all with a two-out single in the fifth inning. Morgan Ensberg doubled off the scoreboard in right and after an out Brad Ausmus was intentionally walked. Miller then singled to left-center scoring Ensberg. Kennedy then hit Craig Biggio with a pitch to load the bases but Adam Everett struck out.

Colorado regained the lead in the bottom half on Sweeney’s home run to center.

“I left a fastball over the plate and he hit it out,” Miller said. “That ball doesn’t go out of any other park but this one.”

Kennedy allowed a leadoff single to Ausmus and a sacrifice to Miller before being taken out in the seventh inning. Tim Harikkala came in to get Biggio to ground out to third and Adam Everett to foul out to third.

“Kennedy was effective in the seventh,” Hurdle said “The barrels started catching up with him a little bit in the sixth and Ausmus led off the seventh with a sharp single.”

Shawn Chacon pitched the ninth for his four save in five opportunities.

Royce Clayton walked and Helton doubled to start the eighth against BradLidge. Castilla then hit a two-run single to left field.

Notes

: Houston had its six-game road winning streak snapped. … Biggio was hit for the 244th time moving past Ron Hunt for second place all-time. … 2B Jeff Kent was not in the starting lineup for the second straight game with a sore right quadriceps but struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. … LHP Andy Pettitte threw a bullpen session before the game. … Castilla has a 10-game hitting streak. … The game lasted two hours and 16 minutes, the sixthshortest game at Coors Field.

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