LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- At the plate and on the mound, the
could not have enjoyed a better start to their most important road trip of the season.
hit his 10th career grand slam and drove in six runs and
allowed four hits in 6 2/3 innings as the Astros opened a 10-game trip with a 10-1 rout of the
Los Angeles Dodgers
Coming off a 6-6 homestand, Houston began a stretch of 16 of their next 19 games on the road. It banged out a season-high 18 hits and climbed back into a tie for first place with St. Louis in the National League Central Division.
"We have a big push this month," Kent said. "We have a big road trip against a lot of good teams. We started with Los Angeles tonight and we are trying to do all we can to win. Today was a good start."
"We are not worried about first place," Astros catcher
added. "It will probably come down to all three teams still in it come the last week. We just have to be there at the end."
Kent got the Astros going with an RBI double in the first inning, then single in a run in the third for a 3-0 cushion. The native of nearby Bellflower, California capped his big night in the ninth with his first grand slam since August 9, 2000.
Staked to the early lead, Miller (12-11) remained Houston's hottest pitcher. The righthander won for the fifth time in six decisions, taking a shutout into the seventh before allowing a solo homer to
"We are off to a great start," Miller said. "Mechanically, I am where I need to be. Right now, knowing I have my good stuff and I have good control, I can beat a lot of teams throwing the way I am now."
One day after celebrating his 35th birthday, Dodgers starter
(15-11) was tagged for four runs - two earned - and nine hits in five innings.
also homered and
each had three hits for the Astros, whose previous season high was 17 hits on Tuesday vs. the Dodgers.
"A lot of different people contributed," Astros manager
said. "Today is Monday, we will savor this win and then move on to tomorrow. It is only a tough road trip if you think it is."
The Dodgers had a four-game winning streak snapped and fell 2 1/2 behind Florida in the wild card race.
"We got beat," Los Angeles manager
said. "You know you are going to lose a few more before the season is over. You just don't want to make a habit of it."
In the third, Biggio delivered his second double of the game and Blum reached on an infield hit.
fouled out to right fielder
, whose throw to the plate was kicked out of catcher
Paul Lo Duca
's glove by the sliding Biggio.
Two pitches later, it got worse for the All-Star catcher as Kent's foul tip knocked off Lo Duca's mask and eventually forced him to leave the game.
Ausmus made it 4-0 in the fourth with his fourth homer of the season and Blum padded the lead with a run-scoring single in the seventh.
Miller lost his shutout bid when Cora led off the seventh with his fourth home run. After
hit into a forceout and stole second,
got the final out of the inning and worked the eighth.
Ausmus stroked an RBI single in the top of the eighth eighth and Kent capped the scoring with a blast into the left field pavilion. It was Houston's fourth grand slam of the season and the first against the Dodgers.
finished up with a scoreless ninth.