HOUSTON (AP) - Things just keep getting worse for the reeling San Francisco Giants.
Injuries are mounting, runs aren't, and now they are losing games to the worst team in baseball.
Wandy Rodriguez pitched eight innings and had a two-run single to lead the Houston Astros to a 6-0 victory over the slumping Giants on Friday night.
The Giants, who were forced to play without third baseman Pablo Sandoval on Friday, have lost 15 of their last 21 games, including four of five. They have been shutout in consecutive games.
Infielder Orlando Cabrera was not available Friday, and Carlos Beltran and Jeff Keppinger are still nursing injuries. Sandoval is day-to-day with a sore left shoulder, and a pre-game meeting did nothing to spark the defending World Series champions.
``Talk is cheap,' infielder Mark DeRosa said. ``Until you go out there and put up some solid approaches (we've) got to find ways to score runs. It doesn't matter what it looks like; our pitching staff is entirely too good.
``It's one of those things, as a unit, we have to look in the mirror and find a way. Right now we just have a lot of guys scratching their heads.'
The Astros were leading 2-0 in the sixth inning when Carlos Corporan hit an RBI single with two outs and Rodriguez followed with a long single down the right field line on the first pitch from Ryan Vogelsong (10-3).
The Astros won their third straight game. Houston had not won more than two straight games since it had a four-game run May 30-June 2, the longest streak of the season. Houston's 41-84 record is the worst in the majors.
Rodriguez (9-9) allowed five hits, struck out eight and walked two. It was his third eight-inning performance of the season.
``(Wandy's) got that curveball that he can do a lot of different things with,' DeRosa said. ``He can throw it for strikes, he can back-foot it. Honestly, he is probably the one pitcher in baseball that can really control his curveball as good as he does.'
Brian Bogusevic, who hit a game-ending grand slam against Chicago on Tuesday, made it 6-0 with a homer off Guillermo Mota in the eighth.
It was the Astros' fourth shutout of the season and their first since June 30 against Texas.
Vogelsong had won four of his previous five decisions. He pitched seven innings, allowed four hits, two earned runs and walked four with three strikeouts.
``I didn't do a very good job of picking us up tonight when I needed to,' Vogelsong said. ``I don't think I was altogether that bad, but I don't think I was altogether that good either.'
The Astros struck first in the third. Clint Barmes walked to start the inning and Corporan doubled before J.B. Shuck doubled down the right field line to make it 2-0.
Vogelsong walked the bases loaded in the fifth inning but escaped when J.D. Martinez took a called third strike.
Rodriguez escaped a two-on, two-outs close call in the second when Mike Fontenot hit a single to right fielder Bogusevic, who made a clean throw to the plate for the tag on Aubrey Huff.
``(Wandy) was good; he has really been throwing the ball well,' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ``Still with that said, I don't know how else to tell you we were awful and we know it.
``The day started off bad with the two injuries and it just got worse. This was just an awful day for us as far as how we played.'
DeRosa is tired of talking. He wants results.
``We've had our share of meetings, I mean you can talk all you want; talk is cheap,' he said. ``Until you go out there and put up some solid approaches find ways to score runs it doesn't matter what it looks like.'
Notes: San Francisco has a 27-15 record at Minute Maid Park, the best of any major league team. The Giants lead the majors with a 32-0 record in games they led by three or more runs. INF Jeff Keppinger returned to Minute Maid Park for the first time since the Astros traded him to the Giants in July. He popped out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth The Giants have used the DL 21 times this season. The Astros are first in the NL and fourth in the majors with 240 doubles. OF George Springer, the Astros No. 1 draft pick, took batting practice before the game. ``I just didn't want to miss the first pitch,' he said. He didn't. With family looking on, he drove a fly to deep right field.
The Associated Press News Service
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