Astros blank Reds behind Rodriguez
Lefty yields 1 hit in 7 innings; Johnson, Pence hit homers
HOUSTON — The Astros were concerned when Wandy Rodriguez lost six of seven starts earlier this season.
After Sunday’s performance, in which he allowed one hit over seven innings for his fifth win in six outings, the team isn’t worried about the left-hander anymore.
Hunter Pence and Chris Johnson homered to back Rodriguez, and Houston beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-0.
“The whole thing when he was struggling was getting him back to how he can really throw,” Houston manager Brad Mills said. “It sure looks like he’s turned the corner.”
Michael Bourn drove in two
drove in two runs with a double for the Astros in the 7th. runs with a double in Houston’s three-run seventh to help the Astros avoid a three-game sweep against Cincinnati, which began the day with a half-game lead in the NL Central over St. Louis.
Rodriguez (8-11) struck out seven, Brandon Lyon gave up one hit in the eighth and Matt Lindstrom did the same in the ninth to complete the shutout.
Reds rookie starter Mike Leake (7-2) was perfect in the fifth and sixth innings before Johnson’s homer to left field with one out in the seventh made it 2-0.
The home run extended his career-best hitting streak to nine games. Jason Castro followed with a single before a pinch-hit double by Jason Michaels chased the Arizona State alumnus.