DENVER (Ticker) --
did what no one had been able to do in more than four years - shut out the
at Coors Field.
Miller and two relievers combined on a three-hitter as the Astros blanked the Rockies, 6-0, to open a one-game lead over the idle
in the National League Central Division.
The Rockies were shut out at Coors Field for the first time since July 5, 1999, a span of 361 games, which had been a major league record.
"It's tough to throw a shutout anywhere," Astros manager
said. "We're just trying to win games because we know the situation we're in."
"I don't have to worry about that now," Rockies manager
said of the streak. "We can move that off the game notes - it's been on for four years - and move on to something else."
Miller (14-12) was effectively wild, overcoming five walks to allow just two hits and strike out seven in 6 1/3 innings.
"My hand was a little dry," Miller said in explaining his wildness. "The balls weren't really rubbed up. They were a little slick."
tossed 1 2/3 innings and
got the final three outs for the Astros, who won for the 11th time in 14 games.
"I like to pitch in big games," Miller said. "We're coming down the stretch. We need these games. So, it's nice to go out and pitch and pitch well and get a win for your team."
Miller surrendered a two-out double to
in the third and a one-out single to
in the fourth. The righthander left after walking
and pinch hitter
in the seventh, but Dotel got
to ground into an inning-ending double play.
drove in three runs for the Astros, who avoided dropping consecutive games for the first time since August 28-29.
"It's (Coors Field) a tough place to win," Bagwell said. "We got a great, great pitching performance, got a few hits and got out here with a series win."
The Astros were coming off a 7-5 setback to the Rockies on Wednesday that snapped a four-game winning streak. But they quickly put the defeat behind them by continuing a remarkable ability for scoring in the first inning.
Houston pounced on
(2-9) for three runs in the top of the first. The Astros have scored 138 runs in the opening inning of their 152 games in 2003.
led off with a triple and scored on
's groundout before
delivered RBI singles later in the inning.
"Our hitters put up a three-spot in the first inning and that was really the key," Miller said.
Bagwell added an RBI single in the seventh, then hit a two-run home run off
in the ninth. Bagwell was 3-for-5 after going 0-for-9 in the first two games of the series.
Helton extended his hitting streak to 12 games, while Kent stretched his run to 10 games with his hit in the first.
The Rockies have lost four series at home for the first time since 2001, when they dropped five in a row.
"They hit on the same field we did today," Colorado center fielder
said. "They just did a better job."
The Astros begin their final road series of the season Friday in St. Louis. After three games at Busch Stadium, they close out the campaign at home with three against San Francisco and four against Milwaukee.