Dodgers 1; Houston 7
In every team, there are instances that they’ll need players to replace injured ones. Just like the Houston Astros who needed someone to make a spot start for the injured Wandy Rodriguez. Lucky for them, they just happened to have former starter Brian Moehler in their bullpen. Manager Cecil Cooper said before the game that he would be "tickled" to get five innings out of the 36-year-old right-hander, and that's just what he got. Moehler scattered five hits through the fifth without allowing a run and Lance Berkman and the Astros' hitters did the rest for a 7-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. "He did a terrific job," Cooper said. Moehler (1-0) struck out five and walked one in his first start since Sept. 29, 2006 with the Florida Marlins.
Furthermore, he has spent the majority of his big league career as a starter, though has been used exclusively in relief since rejoining the Astros in January 2007. “I enjoy either role,” according to Moehler. "Am I capable of starting? Rodriguez, meanwhile, is scheduled to have another bullpen session on Monday. It will be followed by a couple of simulated games during this 10-game road trip, then the left-hander begins a minor league rehab assignment if there are no complications from the strained groin that landed him on the disabled list April 20. "I wasn't concerned about my pitch count. Obviously I'm getting a little stiff, but I felt fine physically."
Furthermore, Berkman went 3-for-4 with a home run for the Astros. The switch-hitting first baseman doubled and scored in the first and made it 6-0 in the fifth with his 12th homer, a two-run shot to right off Lowe. Berkman leads the NL with 35 RBIs and 38 runs scored, and is second in the league in home runs and batting average (.380). During the six seasons in which he played at least 150 games, the four-time All-Star averaged 35 homers and 115.2 RBIs while batting a cumulative .304. "The stretch he's on right now, I don't think I've ever seen anything like this," teammate Darin Erstad said. There's just a calmness in the batter's box. He's not jumping at pitches or chasing pitches. He's just locked in there in one spot. Derek Lowe (2-3) gave up six runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings with five strikeouts and two walks. "It was a very frustrating game," Lowe said. "I thought I had good stuff, but the batters are the ones who'll tell you how good your stuff is. As hot as Lance Berkman is - a double and a home run - that speaks for itself."
Miguel Tejada hit a run-scoring double in the ninth against Scott Proctor, giving him 24 RBIs and raising his average to .338. Dodgers reliever Yhency Brazoban, who was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday to replace right-hander Esteban Loaiza on the active roster, pitched one inning and escaped a bases-loaded jam by starting a 1-2-3 double-play against reliever Geoff Geary. It was Brazoban's first big league appearance since May 31, 2007. He underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on June 22.
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