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Wandy Rodriguez Strikes Out Ten As Astros Down Bucs

Recap: Houston vs. Pittsburgh
Sports Network | July 6, 2010

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Lance Berkman homered and drove in three runs to back seven sturdy innings from Wandy Rodriguez in Houston’s 6-2 win over Pittsburgh in the opener of a three-game set.

Michael Bourn had two hits and scored twice and Jeff Keppinger added three hits and drove in a run as the Astros snapped a three-game slide.

Rodriguez (6-10) struck out a season-high 10 and yielded just a single run on four hits and a pair of walks for Houston, which has won all four meetings between the teams this season.

Houston area-native Brad Lincoln (1-3) suffered the loss in his homecoming after being charged with five runs on seven hits and a walk over five frames for the Pirates, who lost for just the second time in their last six games.

Bourn used his speed to create the first of two runs in the first for the Astros. He led off with an infield single off the glove of Lincoln, stole second, moved to third on a fly out and scored on a Berkman ground out. Carlos Lee then clubbed a solo home run to left-center to make it 2-0.

Bourn started a three-run rally in the third with a one-out single and came in to score on a Keppinger double that was followed by Berkman’s two-run blast to left for a 5-0 game.

The Pirates dented the scoreboard in the next half inning when Ryan Doumit singled home Andrew McCutchen, who started the frame with a base hit and went to third on a one-out single by Pedro Alvarez. A base hit by Lastings Milledge then loaded the bases but the Pirates could not produce any more runs after Bobby Crosby fouled out and Lincoln struck out.

Hunter Pence doubled home Lee in the seventh off Javy Lopez to extend the lead to 6-1.

Wilton Lopez took over for Rodriguez in the eighth and was lifted with one out and a runner on second and followed by Tim Byrdak, who gave up a base hit to Garrett Jones that cut the Astros’ lead to 6-2. The veteran southpaw then retired Alvarez and Doumit to end the threat.

Lincoln grew up in Clute, TX and lives in Pearland, TX…He was expecting somewhere between 150-200 family and friends to be at the game…His first career start for the University of Houston came in the College Classic at Minute Maid Park on February 15, 2004 against nationally-ranked Texas…He played in the same tournament a year later against then 10th-ranked Baylor and had three hits and drove in a run…The Astros improved to 20-6 against the Pirates since September 8, 2008…Keppinger extended his hitting streak to eight games and has 26 multi-hit games on the season…Rodriguez is 6-4 in 13 career starts against the Buccos…Alvarez extended his hitting streak to eight games…The Pirates fell to 12-42 when scoring fewer than four runs.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.