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MLB: Dodgers can't finish off sweep

Los Angeles suffers most lopsided loss since 2004

Posted: April 22, 2012 2:37 p.m.
Updated: April 22, 2012 2:37 p.m.

Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley winds up as he faces the Astros on Sunday in Houston.

 

 

HOUSTON (AP) — Jordan Schafer hit his first career grand slam on a shot that bounced off the glove of Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier, Wandy Rodriguez pitched three-hit ball through seven innings Sunday and the Houston Astros romped past Los Angeles 12-0.

The Astros avoided a sweep and handed the Dodgers their most-lopsided loss since a 13-0 defeat by the Angels in June 2004.

Rodriguez (1-2) struck out six and walked three to get his first win of the season and lower his ERA to 1.42. Fernando Rodriguez and Brandon Lyon pitched an inning each to complete the shutout, which was the first of the year for Los Angeles.

Carlos Lee got things going for the Astros with two-run homer in the first inning. Schafer's slam came an inning later and was just the second career grand slam Chad Billingsley (2-1) has allowed in his seven-year career and the first since 2008.

Billingsley, who entered the game 4-0 with a 1.78 and ERA in four career starts at Minute Maid Park, allowed four hits and nine runs — five earned — in 3 1-3 innings.

Matt Kemp, who leads the majors with nine homers and 22 RBIs, went 0 for 3 to break a 10-game hitting streak. It was only the second hitless game this season for Kemp, who is hitting .450.

The Astros led 2-0 in the second when Chris Johnson singled and Jason Castro walked. A one-out walk by Rodriguez loaded the bases and prompted a short visit to the mound by the pitching coach.

Then came Schafer's grand slam that deflected off Ethier's glove and into the right-field stands. Schafer has reached safely in each of his 16 games this year, the longest string for the Astros since Craig Biggio started the 2000 season with a 17-game stretch.

A sloppy fourth inning by the Dodgers, who finished with a season-high three errors, helped the Astros add three more runs. Castro tripled on a long fly that sailed just past a sprinting Kemp, who lost his cap as he dashed up Tal's Hill in center field to retrieve it.

Jose Altuve walked before an error by shortstop Dee Gordon allowed Rodriguez to reached and a run to score. A wild pitch and a walk allowed Houston to make it 8-0 and chase Billingsley.

Reliever Jamey Wright plunked Johnson on the backside in the fifth inning and he later scored on Castro's single for a 10-0 lead.

Johnson and Altuve each had RBI singles in the eighth.

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