' pitching staff a much-needed boost on Sunday.
Rodriguez pitched seven shutout innings and
hit a two-run homer in the
' 2-0 win over the
Rodriguez (11-6) allowed five hits and struck out three in his first start since leaving his outing eight days ago with a
strained right hamstring. The left-hander won his sixth straight decision and gave up one earned run or fewer for the seventh
''I felt strong today,'' Rodriguez said. ''Eight days and no pitching. My arm feels strong.''
In the last two weeks, Rodriguez,
have all been injured. Oswalt will start Tuesday in Florida after leaving his last start with a sore back and Hampton left
Saturday's game after two innings with a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee.
was unsure how long Rodriguez would last after missing a full week, but Rodriguez seemed to pitch better with each inning.
''Wandy was terrific, maybe not as strong as he'd been in the past, but I still thought he was up to the challenge and he
got better as the game wore on,'' Cooper said.
got the final four outs for Houston to earn his 15th save of the season and second of the series.
Blum hit his fifth homer since the All-Star break in the fourth inning off
walked. Gallardo allowed six hits and struck out four in seven innings.
The Brewers were shut out for the fourth time in games Gallardo has started. The 23-year-old right-hander lost two 1-0 decisions
''I've been losing a lot of close games,'' Gallardo said. ''Hopefully, I'll get it turned around. I just think I threw very
well. The only pitch they put a good swing on, it beats me.''
Rodriguez had shaky command early, walking leadoff man
on four pitches. In the second, Rodriguez hit
with a pitch and walked Gallardo, but escaped a two-out, bases-loaded jam when Lopez grounded out.
''I missed a lot on my location because I didn't see any hitters for eight days,'' Rodriguez said.
Gallardo allowed three hits in the first three innings, including a double by
. Michaels, who homered twice in Friday's 6-3 Astros win, came in batting .345 in his last 19 games.
Lee walked with one out in the fourth before Blum launched a 1-0 pitch into the right-field seats, his seventh homer of the
walked and Michaels tried to score on Rodriguez's infield single. But
threw to the catcher Kendall, who tagged out Michaels one step from the plate.
Rodriguez allowed only four hits after the second inning.
singled with one out in the sixth before J.J. Hardy to rolled into a double play. Lopez singled with two outs in the seventh
flew out on Rodriguez's 116th pitch.
''We expected Wandy to pitch well, but I don't think any of us expected him to go that deep into the game,'' Blum said. ''For
two runs to hold up against a lineup like the
' (lineup), that's pretty good.''
relieved for the eighth and
helped him with an over-the-shoulder, running catch on
's fly ball to deep center. The Brewers put two men on with two outs before Valverde relieved and retired
on a popup.
The Astros have won seven of the last nine games Rodriguez has started.
NOTES: Milwaukee manager
may start rehab assignments this week. Bush (3-4, 5.67 ERA) is nursing a triceps tear and Suppan (5-8, 5.27 ERA) is recovering
from an oblique strain. ... Oswalt threw about 40 pitches in the bullpen, his last tuneup before Tuesday's start. ... Milwaukee
acquired right-handed reliever
from Cincinnati for a player to be named later. Weathers is 3-3 with a 3.32 ERA in 43 games.