resembled an ace more than
did on Friday night, and the
looked more like the team closing in on a division title.
Rodriguez struck out seven in seven innings and drove in two runs with a double to lead the Astros to a 7-0 victory over the
Rodriguez (13-9) allowed seven hits without a walk to win his fifth straight home decision. The 30-year-old left-hander came
in with a 1.73 ERA at Minute Maid Park this season.
''I had a great breaking ball, just the whole game, it broke very good,'' Rodriguez said.
Lee (5-2), acquired from Cleveland on July 29, struggled for the second straight start after his eight-game winning streak
ended against Atlanta on Saturday. The left-hander lasted only three innings in this one, giving up six runs and nine hits.
''It was just one of those days where everything they hit found a place,'' Lee said. ''They were able to find all the open
spots, and that was basically it.''
homered for the Astros, who won for the third time in 11 games.
singled off Lee with no outs in the second to load the bases for Rodriguez, an .098 hitter. Rodriguez fought Lee to a full
count, then fouled off four straight pitches before lining a two-run double into the right-field corner.
''I looked for a fastball in that situation, he threw a fastball,'' Rodriguez said.
One out later,
doubled to left to make it 4-0. Lee, acquired from Cleveland on July 29, gave up more than three runs for just the sixth time
in 29 starts in 2009.
Lee allowed a total of three runs in winning his first five starts with the Phillies. He gave up six runs on 10 hits in last
weekend's loss to the Braves before his early exit on Friday.
''He is a pro and I know he can handle the pressure,'' Manuel said. ''That is how he got out to 5-0 with us this year. I am
not really concerned, it is just going to be a matter of him making his pitches.''
led off the Houston half of the third with a bloop single to left and Pence followed with a home run to right, his 21st of
the season. Lee has given up four homers in his last two outings after not allowing any in his previous six.
started the fourth inning for the Phillies. It was Lee's shortest outing since he gave up seven runs and 11 hits in three
innings against the
Chicago White Sox
on June 30.
The Astros are out of the playoff hunt, but they've beaten some of the top pitchers in the NL this season -
and now Lee among them.
''You should rise up every day, regardless of who you're facing,'' said Houston manager
. ''Sometimes, when one of the tougher guys is out there, you do focus a little bit more, I think.''
led off the Houston fifth with a homer to left, his 23rd of the season.
Rodriguez struck out a batter in each of the first six innings. The Phillies loaded the bases with one out in the seventh,
but Rodriguez got
to fly out before fanning
on a high fastball.
''Wandy's had a great year for us,'' Cooper said. ''That's a pretty good hitting team on the other side. He really commanded
the zone. He kept them off-balance.''
Rodriguez threw 111 pitches and
relieved for the eighth.
, playing his first home game since open-heart surgery in March, was hit by
's pitch in the bottom of the eighth. He went to second on
's single and was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Matsui's single to center.
NOTES: Lee pitched fewer than six innings for only the fifth time this season. ... The Astros reached their highest run total
in a home game since an 11-6 victory over St. Louis on July 21. ... The Phillies dropped to 19-9 against the NL Central this