Astros tripped up by Ramirez, Rangers

HOUSTON (AP) -- Before they even took on Texas, the Houston Astros apparently were fighting among themselves.

Astros pitcher Shawn Chacon was suspended indefinitely by the team Wednesday after he reportedly grabbed general manager Ed Wade by the neck and threw him to the ground.

That was the start of a rough night for Houston, which lost 3-2 to the Rangers when Miguel Tejada grounded out with the bases loaded for the final out.

Max Ramirez got his first two major league hits and the second one -- a two-run homer -- put Texas up 3-2 in the fourth inning. The Astros had won two in a row after losing nine of 10.

Chacon, upset last weekend after being demoted to the bullpen, was suspended by the club for insubordination. He was quoted in a story posted on the Houston Chronicle's Web site as saying he got into a confrontation with Wade before the game.

"He is suspended pending final resolution of whatever move we end up making with him," Wade said, declining to provide further details.

Astros manager Cecil Cooper and most of his players refused to comment on the situation, but slugger Lance Berkman said things like that sometimes happen because of the emotions involved in baseball.

"It's not unprecedented," Berkman said. "This is a very highly wound sport and unfortunately it's not a sport where you can take out any frustrations on the opponent. You have to keep yourself in check and a lot of times your emotions just get the better of you. It's happened to me. It's happened to every player in the game."

In his second major league game after being recalled from Double-A Frisco on Saturday, Ramirez hit a single in the second inning. In the fourth, his two-run homer to center put the Rangers ahead 3-2.

"I can't believe I got my first base hit and my first home run," he said. "It was really exciting."

Ramirez was 0-for-3 in his big league debut on Sunday after hitting .363 with 17 homers and 50 RBIs for Frisco this season. He made his first start at catcher for the banged-up Rangers, having played first base in his earlier game.

"We've known he was going to be able to swing the bat, but personally I wanted to see how he handled the pitching staff and he did a great job of that," manager Ron Washington said. "You could definitely say he has a bright future."

Texas starter Scott Feldman was pulled after throwing 99 pitches in four innings. Luis Mendoza (1-2) allowed two hits in three scoreless innings.

Rangers reliever C.J. Wilson gave up double to Ty Wigginton in the ninth and walked Michael Bourn with two outs. Mark Loretta followed with a grounder and third baseman Ramon Vazquez, distracted by Wigginton running in front of him, misplayed it for an error that loaded the bases.

Tejada grounded into a routine force for the final out, giving Wilson his 16th save.

Ian Kinsler tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Vazquez to put the Rangers ahead 1-0 in the first. Bourn hit a two-run homer in the second that put Houston up 2-1.

Astros ace Roy Oswalt (6-8) took the loss after allowing seven hits and three runs in seven innings. Oswalt said things went better after he got a feel for Ramirez.

"He's a new guy," Oswalt said. "We don't know him too well and it took about three at-bats before I figured out what he was trying to do."

The Rangers were without both Milton Bradley and Josh Hamilton for the first time this season. Bradley hasn't started the last seven games since straining his left quadriceps June 17. Hamilton, who leads the majors with 76 RBIs, sat out after leaving the night before with knee inflammation.

Game notes
1B Hank Blalock joined the Rangers to continue treatment on his injured right hand. He was supposed to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday, but injured his right hand diving for a ball Sunday with Triple-A Oklahoma. The Rangers aren't sure when he'll return from the disabled list. ... Berkman had doubles in the third and fifth, but was stranded both times. Berkman's 50 extra-base hits lead the majors.