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News » Rodriguez dominant as Astros blank Reds Lefty fans 10 to tie career high, allows two hits ASTROS: Rodriguez battery works well

Rodriguez dominant as Astros blank Reds Lefty fans 10 to tie career high, allows two hits ASTROS: Rodriguez battery works well

Rodriguez dominant as Astros blank Reds Lefty fans 10 to tie career high, allows two hits ASTROS: Rodriguez battery works well
Astros update

Saturday: Astros 7, Reds 0.

Record: 4-7.

Today: Reds at Minute Maid Park, 1:05 p.m.

Pitchers: Edinson Volquez (1-1) vs. Felipe Paulino (0-0).

TV/radio: FSH; 740 AM, 1010 AM (Spanish).

As Laynce Nix swung through a curveball to end the seventh inning, mild-mannered Wandy Rodriguez let out a primal scream and then another as he walked off the mound Saturday night.

Showing a fire many in the organization have longed to see from the introverted lefthander, Rodriguez screamed and pounded his left hand on his glove twice after retiring the Cincinnati Reds' potential tying run.

Rodriguez capped his dominant performance with a rare show of emotion on a night he combined with Chris Sampson and Jeff Fulchino to shut out the Reds 7-0 before 30,141 at Minute Maid Park.

"Vamos! Vamos!" Rodriguez yelled in Spanish.

Let's go! Let's go!

Rodriguez held the Reds to two hits and two walks while tying his career high with 10 strikeouts over seven innings.

"Everybody knows who Ivan (Rodriguez) is," Wandy said. "Ivan's a good catcher. He told me, ?Hey, this is your game, (have) good concentration and make a good pitch right now.'?"

With the victory, the Astros tied the four-game series at one apiece to begin a 10-game homestand.

"I have never seen him do that before," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said of Rodriguez's outburst. "That's probably as much emotion as he's ever shown. And I think it's good. I think it's good for him, but I'm going to tell you the guy (Ivan Rodriguez) who has been squatting and catching for him has been a godsend.

"I think they really connect. Wandy's been as good as any pitcher in the game right now."

Bats step up

Miguel Tejada got the Astros' offense going with a one-out single to left in the first inning. One out later, Carlos Lee, who was 3-for-3 with two runs and one RBI, hit an infield single to short. Hunter Pence followed with an RBI single through the left side to give the Astros a 1-0 lead. Lee scored from second to give the Astros a 2-0 lead on Geoff Blum's single to shallow left field. Lee gave the Astros a 3-0 lead with a two-out, RBI double to left in the fifth.

"Well, it's always good to get runs early," Cooper said. "Whoever's on the hill, I'm sure it gives them confidence."

After retiring the first two Reds in the seventh, Rodriguez temporarily lost his control. In the strike zone all night, he issued his first and second walks in succession to Brandon Phillips and Edwin Encarnacion.

Nix followed, and Rodriguez challenged him with consecutive fastballs for strikes on the outside corner. The 0-2 pitch was a curveball out of the strike zone, and Nix refused to chase. The next pitch was a better curveball, and Nix swung through it to end the inning.

"I feel happy because, in that situation, I wanted this guy out, and I did it," said Wandy (1-1, 1.89 ERA).

Ivan Rodriguez was impressed.

"He did a great job," Pudge said of Wandy. "What he did good today was he threw a lot of strike ones. He used the fastball a lot and his breaking ball was very good today."

Success vs. Reds

With that strikeout, Rodriguez tied his career high of 10 strikeouts, which he first accomplished on Aug. 26, 2008, against Cincinnati.

Blum and Ivan Rodriguez added a pair of two-run doubles in the bottom of the seventh to help the Astros pull away with a four-run rally.

"He's showing more emotion now," Tejada said of Wandy Rodriguez. "Now when he gets an out, you can tell that he's fighting. And I think he needs that."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 21, 2009

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