HOUSTON – Andy Pettitte pitched nine strong innings and Morgan Ensberg drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th to lead the Houston Astros over the Texas Rangers 3-2 Sunday.

Reliever Juan Domingues (0-2) walked Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman to lead off the 10th before Ensberg slapped his game-ending single between third and shortstop.

Ensberg and Orlando Palmeiro had two hits apiece, and Houston won for the second time in the six-game Lone Star series.

Chad Qualls (3-3) pitched a hitless 10th inning to pick up the win.

Texas has lost 10 of its last 12 road games and 13 of 17.

Pettitte allowed two runs – one earned – and seven hits with no walks. He struck out six in his longest outing since a complete game against Seattle on Aug. 9, 2003, when he was with the New York Yankees.

Chan Ho Park bounced back after his worst outing of the season to allow just four hits and two runs, one earned, in seven innings.

Park was coming off a disastrous performance Tuesday at Los Angeles when he allowed season highs of 10 hits and eight runs in just one inning against the Angels.

Texas took a 1-0 lead in the first. After Michael Young and Mark Teixeira singled with one out, Hank Blalock hit a grounder to first baseman Mike Lamb who threw to second for the force out. Shortstop Adam Everett, attempting the double play, threw wildly to Pettitte covering first, allowing Young to score.

The Rangers made it 2-0 in the fourth inning, Alfonso Soriano doubled with one out and went to third on a wild pitch. One out later, Rod Barajas hit a looper to left field. Lance Berkman dove for it and momentarily had it in his glove, but it popped out and allowed Soriano to score.

Park dominated the Astros in the first five innings, holding them to a pair of infield singles by Everett and Brad Ausmus in the second. It extended Park’s scoreless innings streak against Houston to 12, including seven at home on May 22.

Houston finally got to him in the sixth inning when Craig Biggio singled and Lance Berkman hit a run-scoring double.

The Astros tied it in the seventh when Palmeiro doubled, moved to third on a scarifice bunt and scored on Brad Ausmus’ bunt down the first-base line. Ausmus reached safely when Teixeira failed to catch Park’s soft throw.

Petttitte then followed with another sacrifice, giving the Astros a major league record-tying three in an inning.

Notes: The Astros’ three sacrifices was the 14th time a team did it in an inning, and the first time since the Minnesota Twins on July 21, 1991, in the eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers. Houston has done it three times, twice in the 1975 season. … Astros improved their all-time record to 16-14 against the Rangers. … Lance Berkman is the only Astros player to have appeared in all 30 Lone Star series games. … Texas is 22-13 in weekend games this season. … Richard Hidalgo finished 1-for-21 on the road trip, including 0-for-9 in his first trip back to face his former team at Minute Maid Park.

AP-ES-06-26-05 1719EDT


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