Miller fans 10 in victory over Rockies


HOUSTON (AP) -- Wade Miller says his friendly competition with
teammate Roy Oswalt is keeping him sharp.

"I can't let him outdo me,'' Miller said. "I've got to stay
ahead of him because I know he'll be pitching in a couple of days.

Miller (13-3) won his career high 10th straight decision Tuesday
night to help the Houston Astros beat the Colorado Rockies 11-4.

Miller allowed two runs and nine hits in seven innings. His
streak is just ahead of the pace of Oswalt, who has won nine in a

"It's a friendly competition between us,'' Miller said. "It's
a lot of fun. It's nice watching him go out there, and then getting
my chance to match him a few days later. We're enjoying it right
now, and we just hope we can finish up the season with the streaks

Miller is 10-0 with a 2.11 earned-run average in 13 starts since a June 26 loss
to Atlanta and 12-1 since returning from a pinched nerve in his
neck, which put him on the disabled list from April 13 to May 29.

The Rockies were impressed with Miller, who struck out 10 and
walked one.

"He throws 96 (mph) and keeps the ball down and powders the
strike zone,'' interim manager Toby Harrah said. "He's got that
cutter and he doesn't throw too many balls straight and not too
many over the plate.''

Juan Pierre went 4-for-5, including 3-for-4 against Miller, but
considered himself lucky.

"He's a workhorse,'' Pierre said. "He comes at you and runs
that fastball up there and he's got a good breaking ball. He has a
slider that disappears. I was fortunate that he left some pitches
over the plate and I was able to get some good swings.''

Lance Berkman hit his career-high 40th home run and had five
RBIs as the Astros won their fourth straight.

Berkman had a two-run double off Denny Neagle (8-10) in the
sixth and a three-run homer off Mark Corey in the eighth. Berkman's
118 RBI lead the National League.

Jeff Bagwell followed with another home run, the eighth time
this year the Astros hit consecutive homers.

Jose Vizcaino went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs for the
Astros, who remained 5 games behind NL Central-leading St. Louis.
Houston outhit the Rockies 14-12.

Neagle (8-10) allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings,
his ERA rising to 4.91.

Houston took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on two-out, run-scoring
singles by Vizcaino, Jason Lane and Brad Ausmus.

Jay Payton had an RBI single in the fifth, but Vizcaino hit a
two-out double over Payton's head in the bottom half for a 5-2

Terry Shumpert homered in the ninth.

Game notes
Rockies manager Clint Hurdle sat out the game to serve his
one-game suspension, assessed after he was thrown out of the game
Aug. 25 against the Mets. ... Lane ran into a railing down the
right-field line chasing a ball that was just out of play in the
third inning. The game was stopped briefly, and he stayed in the
game. ... Payton's single made him 14-for-20 (.700) with runners in
scoring position and less than two outs. ... Larry Walker left
after the third inning with soreness in his left shoulder. He is
day to day. ... Mark Loretta left after the sixth inning with a
sore left hamstring.