Astros 4, Dodgers 2

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HOUSTON (AP)—Roy Oswalt didn’t need to be at the top of his game for yet another win at home.

Oswalt won his sixth straight start, Craig Biggio got two hits to tie Barry Bonds for 49th on the all-time hit list and the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Saturday.

Oswalt (12-7) allowed two runs on nine hits and a walk in 6 1-3 innings, striking out seven. He has a decision in each of his starts this season.

“I didn’t feel real good the whole day,” said Oswalt, who threw 116 pitches. “I didn’t have good command of my pitches. I usually can find one good pitch to use but I couldn’t today.”

Oswalt is 9-1 with a 2.07 ERA in 10 starts at home this season and isn’t intimidated by Minute Maid Park’s short fences in right and left field.

“I love to pitch here,” Oswalt said. “The fans are great and I enjoy pitching in front of them. I think the biggest thing some of our pitchers had trouble with in the beginning was they were coming from the Astrodome where the ball didn’t travel as well as it does here.

“I never pitched in the Dome so I didn’t know any better.”

Mike Lamb went 2-for-4 for the Astros, who have won six of seven and 15 of 19 to climb back to .500 for the first time since April 22 when they were 8-8. Houston, which was 15 games under .500 on May 24, has won 14 of its last 16 at home.

“It’s a feel-good thing to get to .500,” manager Phil Garner said. “We have to continue it now. We don’t want to look back and we certainly don’t want to go back where we were.”

The Dodgers again struggled at the plate as they lost their third straight and sixth in eight games.

“Like I’ve said the last few weeks, there’s no room for error with the way our offense has been,” Tracy said. “Forty-five of our 87 games have been decided by two runs or less. We are in the biggest majority of the games. The thing that’s holding us up is our (lack of) offensive firepower.

“We have no breathing room. When you face guys like we’ve faced the last two nights, (Roger) Clemens and Oswalt, you can’t expect four or five opportunities a game. It’s not going to happen.”

Jayson Werth thought the problem was not the opponent’s pitcher.

“Today for me it didn’t make a difference who was pitching,” Werth said. “I wasn’t having good at bats or a good approach so it didn’t matter.”

Biggio’s second hit of the game gave him 2,730 for his career and moved him into a tie with Barry Bonds, who has been injured all season. Biggio is in his 18th season, all with the Astros.

Jeff Weaver (7-8) went six innings and allowed three runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out three.

Russ Springer pitched a perfect eighth for Houston and Brad Lidge worked the ninth for his 19th save in 22 chances.

Orlando Palmeiro hit Weaver’s first-pitch of the second inning for a home run and gave Houston a 1-0 lead. It was Palmeiro’s third homer of the year.

Hee-Seop Choi had a standup triple in the fourth, driving in Jeff Kent to tie it at 1.

Biggio singled in the sixth and advanced to third on Lance Berkman’s double. He scored on a wild pitch by Weaver for the go-ahead run. Mike Lamb followed with a double off the right-field wall for a 3-1 lead.

The Dodgers loaded the bases in the sixth inning to chase Oswalt. Reliever Chad Qualls threw a wild pitch to let in a run, but struck out Kent and Werth to end the threat.

Willy Taveras’ sacrifice fly to right drove in Jose Vizcaino to make it 4-2 in the seventh.


Houston purchased the contract of RHP Travis Driscoll from Triple-A Round Rock Saturday. Driscoll was 5-3 with a 5.01 ERA in 32 appearances at Round Rock. He took the place of Wandy Rodriguez, who was sent down to Double-A Corpus Christi on Friday to make a start during the All-Star break. Rodriguez will be recalled July 19 to start against Pittsburgh in a double-header. … Ricky Ledee singled as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning in his first at-bat since going on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring June 5. He remained in the game and played right field and walked in the ninth.

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