ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Carlos Beltran leaped with his glove
extended over the top of the wall, then dropped to the ground in a
Even he wasn't sure he had made the catch until he looked into
Beltran's home run-robbing catch in the first inning proved
huge, and the newly acquired outfielder scored the game's lone run
as the Houston Astros won 1-0 Sunday to end the Texas Rangers'
eight-game winning streak.
"When he came down and didn't show it right away, I thought it
got over," said Roy Oswalt, who struck out nine while pitching
eight shutout innings. "That saved the whole game right there."
Texas leadoff hitter Michael Young was already trotting halfway
between second and third and umpire Ed Montague had signaled a home
run. Then, Beltran got up and pulled the ball from his glove.
"When I jumped, I saw the ball hit my glove, but when I went
down and opened my glove, I was like, `Wow, I got this one,"
Beltran said. "I was kind of shocked and surprised."
The Rangers' winning streak was the longest in the majors, but
they still lead the AL West. Texas plays its remaining 14 games
before the All-Star break on the road without a day off.
It was the third time this season Texas was shut out, and the
Rangers' first 1-0 loss at home since June 23, 1997, against
"That's impressive pitching on both sides," Texas manager Buck
Showalter said. "It goes back to one thing: Beltran's catch."
Beltran was acquired from Kansas City in a three-way trade last
Thursday. The Astros sent closer Octavio Dotel to Oakland as part
of the deal.
Oswalt (6-6), who didn't walk a batter, overcame extra-base hits
in three consecutive innings for the win. He threw 74 of 109
pitches for strikes.
Brad Lidge, who took over as the closer, pitched a perfect ninth
for his fourth save in six chances -- completing the Astros' seventh
shutout. It was Lidge's second straight save since Dotel left.
Ryan Drese (4-5) threw his second complete game for the Rangers,
allowing six hits over nine innings and striking out four. He had
been 4-0 at home, where he has a 2.03 ERA in his eight games.
"It stinks, but that's the game," Drese said. "It was a game
that could very easily have been 0-0 in the ninth."
Houston got its lone run after loading the bases with no outs in
the second -- Beltran and Lance Berkman singled, and Mike Lamb
walked. Beltran scored when Morgan Ensberg grounded in a double
play before Jose Vizcaino grounded out.
Beltran was 1-for-3, extending his hitting streak to 12 games.
He was 4-for-11 in his first three games with the Astros.
After Alfonso Soriano's two-out single in the first, Oswalt
retired 12 straight batters -- getting seven on strikeouts.
"I got a few guys to chase the fastball out of the zone and got
a few guys swinging at curveballs in the dirt," Oswalt said. "The
whole gameplan was to keep the ball out of the middle of the plate,
because they are so aggressive."
Eric Young tripled with two outs in the fifth, hitting a ball
into the gap that right fielder Lance Berkman took a bad angle on
and couldn't cut off. The ball got to the wall, but Oswalt then got
Gary Matthews Jr. on an inning-ending groundout.
Barajas was stranded when the top three hitters in the lineup
went 1-2-3 in the sixth.
After Fullmer doubled, Oswalt hit Mark Teixeira with an 0-2
pitch. But Fullmer was picked off by catcher Raul Chavez, on the
second straight throw he made. Oswalt then struck out David
Dellucci and ended the inning with a comebacker.
The play by Chavez, who just missed getting Fullmer with the
first throw, impressed Beltran.
"You never know what might happen if (Dellucci) gets the bunt
down. They're trying to move the runners over," Beltran said.
"That was great right there."
Matthews, the Texas center fielder, made a run-saving catch to
end the Houston sixth. With Berkman running on contact from first,
Matthews went deep into the left-center gap and with a full
extension of his left arm caught Ensberg's flyball.
LHP Andy Pettitte, on the disabled list (left forearm
strain) since May 27, returns to the Astros rotation Tuesday night
at the Chicago Cubs. Manager Jimy Williams said INF Eric Bruntlett
will be sent back to Triple-A New Orleans. ... Barajas, who made
his ninth straight start at catcher, extended his hitting streak to
11 games, a career high and the longest by the Rangers this season.
... There was no batting practice on the field for the third
straight day. Rain was the cause the first day, but Sunday was
because of a fan photo day on the field.