Rodriguez wins 11th behind Astros’ big inning
The Astros strung together six consecutive hits during a six-run third inning, starter Wandy Rodriguez(notes) earned his 11th win, and almost everything went right for Houston in a 9-3 victory over the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.
“It’s great to come out and kind of dominate for once,” said Bourgeois, who had three hits and an RBI.
The Astros’ six runs and seven hits in the third inning both tied the team’s single-inning highs this season, and the 16 overall hits also tied their season best.
Carlos Corporan(notes) drove in three runs. Five Astros had at least two hits. Carlos Lee(notes) had a double, single and drove in a run, giving him 80 RBIs for the 13th straight season, second only to Alex Rodriguez(notes) among active players.
Houston has by far the worst record in the majors this season, and had lost six of seven entering the game. The Astros’ next loss will tie the franchise-worst mark of 97, but the rare win boosted their spirits.
“It feels great,” Corporan said. “This year we haven’t played like our record shows. We’ve been playing hard, playing close games, a lot of extra innings. That’s good when one comes along and everything goes right, and you feel good. You just try to keep the moment and keep winning.”
Rodriguez (11-10) went six innings, giving up three runs and seven hits and striking out seven. Rodriguez is the only Astros’ starter with a winning record.
Nothing went right for Washington starter John Lannan(notes) (9-12). He gave up six runs—four earned—and eight hits in 2 1-3 innings, his second-shortest outing this season. He allowed six hits and seven runs in two innings at Philadelphia on May 5.
Lannan also made a costly error in the middle of Houston’s big inning, which started when Jordan Schafer(notes) doubled down the left field line with one out and took third as Michael Morse(notes) misplayed the ball. Each of Houston’s next five batters singled, including run-scoring hits by Bourgeois, Lee and Chris Johnson(notes).
After the six straight hits, the bases were loaded and Jose Altuve(notes) hit a dribbler toward third base. Lannan fielded the ball but his throw home was wide of catcher Jesus Flores(notes). Lannan dropped to his knees and held his head in his hands as two runs scored.
The play left runners on the corners for Corporan, whose squeeze bunt got past Lannan for an RBI single, giving Houston a 6-0 lead and ending the pitcher’s night.
“The third inning killed me,” Lannan said. “It’s one of those days where I didn’t get the job done, and it’s unacceptable.”
The Astros added two more runs in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Corporan and a run-scoring double by Rodriguez, his first extra-base hit of the season. Corporan also had an RBI single in the ninth.
“I think it helps everybody,” Mills said. “Not just the young guys, it helps everybody. These types of games might have not been real close together, but at the same time these guys come out every day and they bust their tail and get after it, and it’s nice to see them do that even when it’s been real tough.”
Notes: RHP Stephen Strasburg(notes) will make his second start for the Nationals on Sunday since returning from last year’s Tommy John surgery. Washington manager Davey Johnson said he didn’t have a strict innings or pitch-count limit for his young star. “I’m just going to go by what I see. I don’t have a set number. I’m going to see how he’s going along. I’m not going to let him struggle or anything like that,” Johnson said. … The Nationals named INF Steve Lombardozzi(notes) and RHP Brad Peacock(notes) minor league player and pitcher of the year. Both are now with Washington. Johnson said Peacock would likely get his first major league start during the team’s four-game series at the New York Mets starting Monday. … RHP Lance Pendleton(notes) was activated by Houston, a day after he was claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees. … LHP Sergio Escalona(notes), who sprained his left ankle on Friday, will be placed on the 60-day disabled list on Sunday when the Astros will purchase the contract of LHP Xavier Cedeon from Triple-A Oklahoma City. … RHP Henry Sosa(notes) (2-3) will start for the Astros on Sunday.