Wandy Rodriguez took Ezequiel Astacio's spot on Houston's roster minutes after Astacio beat the Pirates, then pitched even better than Astacio did as the Astros completed a doubleheader sweep last night in Pittsburgh.
Lance Berkman, picking up much of Houston's missing offense with Jeff Bagwell on the disabled list, hit a two-run homer to spark the 6-4 win in the second game and had four hits in the Astros' first road doubleheader sweep since Aug. 4, 1995 -- also in Pittsburgh.
In the opener, Astacio limited Pittsburgh to two runs over six innings for his first major league victory.
Houston has won 10 of 14 to get back to a game over .500. The Astros (47-46) are 31-16 since starting the season 15-30.
Rodriguez (5-4) made the lead stand up to win his third in four decisions, returning from a short stay in the minors so he could pitch during the All-Star break. He took the roster spot of Astacio, who was sent back to Triple A Round Rock between games, to give up three runs, two earned, in six innings plus.
Phillies 5, Dodgers 4 -- Ryan Howard hit a two-run homer in the 10th, lifting host Philadelphia over Los Angeles.
The Dodgers went ahead, 4-3, in the top of the 10th on Billy Wagner's bases-loaded walk to Jayson Werth. Pat Burrell hit a leadoff triple in the bottom of the inning off Yhency Brazoban (2-5). On the next pitch, Howard crushed his fifth homer to left-center, giving the Phillies their sixth win in seven games.
Cubs 7, Reds 3 -- Aramis Ramirez homered twice -- his third straight game with a homer -- and drove in five runs, powering visiting Chicago past Cincinnati for its eighth win in a nine-game span.
Derrek Lee had three hits, including a two-run double in the fifth off Luke Hudson (1-5). Todd Walker singled twice, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. Mark Prior (7-3) gave up seven hits and three runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Nationals 4, Rockies 0 -- John Patterson allowed just three hits in eight scoreless innings, and fill-in shortstop Jamey Carroll delivered two hits and an RBI to lead host Washington past Colorado for just the fourth victory in 13 games for the NL East leader.
Mets 3, Padres 1 -- Pinch hitter Chris Woodward hit a two-run homer with one out in the 11th, powering host New York past San Diego.
Brewers 5, Cardinals 4 -- Bill Hall's two-run double in the eighth rallied visiting Milwaukee from a 4-0 deficit in beating St. Louis.