Kazmir pitches Astros over Greinke, Dodgers 3-1
HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Astros knew mistakes would be at a minimum with Zack Greinke on the mound, and they took advantage of the three he made.
Scott Kazmir pitched six solid innings, Jose Altuve and Luis Valbuena homered and the Astros defeated Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 on Saturday night.
''We obviously took advantage of the very few mistakes that he made,'' Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. ''Going into this game you know he's a really good pitcher, and if you get any mistakes or any opportunities, you want to capitalize on them.''
A night after teammate Mike Fiers pitched a no-hitter against the Dodgers, Kazmir (7-8) didn't permit a runner until Jimmy Rollins singled to start the fourth inning.
The Astros won a matchup of division leaders and ended an eight-game winning streak by Greinke (13-3).
Kazmir rebounded from his worst start with the Astros, giving up one run and six hits while striking out eight. He had lost three in a row since winning July 24 at Kansas City in his first start since being acquired from Oakland.
''I felt a little more in tune,'' Kazmir said. ''It felt like I was able to attack the strike zone, which last couple starts, it was a little bit trouble hitting my spots.''
It was the 13th time this season Kazmir has allowed one run or less.
Relievers Will Harris and Pat Neshek each pitched a perfect inning and Luke Gregerson worked the ninth for his 24th save.
Houston pitchers had retired 30 straight Dodgers until Rollins singled, and he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
It was the Dodgers' first hit in 13 1-3 innings since Kike Hernardez's two-out double in the eighth inning of Wednesday's game at Oakland.
''It's good to get a hit, just obviously to break that string,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ''Obviously getting a hit maybe relieves it a little bit. But other than that, I think you know you have to score.''
Greinke gave up three runs and three hits in seven innings. He set down 16 of his last 17 batters.
Greinke allowed two homers in a game for the first time since last Aug. 23. The right-hander was 8-0 with a 1.16 ERA in his previous 11 starts.
''That's how their team plays a lot,'' Greinke said of the homers. ''A lot of good pitches but not good enough today is what it seems like.''
Altuve's homer was the 10th of the season and gave the Astros nine players with 10-plus homers this season, tying a club record set in 2000.
''It's not a goal, but it's something that is pretty special because it's the first time I have done it,'' Altuve said. ''It was not something I was thinking about at the beginning of the season, but now, that I have done it, I am pretty happy.''
Altuve led off the first with a triple and scored two batters later on an error by third baseman Justin Turner.
Valbuena homered into the Houston bullpen in right center in the second to up the lead to 2-0.
Rollins doubled and scored on Turner's single in the sixth. Altuve homered in the bottom half.
Dodgers: Yasiel Puig started in right field and batted second after being out of the lineup the last two games with a right hamstring injury. He went 1 for 4 with a single.
Astros: OF George Springer was hitting off a tee Friday, Hinch said. Springer has been on the disabled list since July 2 with a right wrist fracture and resumed baseball activities Aug. 14.
ASTROS HONOR BIGGIO
Before the game, the Astros honored Craig Biggio for being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Former Astros manager Art Howe and former general manager Gerry Hunsicker were among those in attendance for the pregame ceremony. Biggio became the first player inducted into the Hall of Fame as an Astro this year. His No. 7 was painted on Tal's Hill in center field.
During the Biggio ceremony, a security guard collapsed along the right field line. Astros medical personnel attended to the man before he was placed on a cart and taken out of the stadium. He was responsive when he was taken to a hospital, a team spokesman said.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (10-6) will look to continue his string of solid outings Sunday in the finale of the three-game series. Kershaw is 5-0 with an 0.82 ERA in his last seven starts.
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers (5-4) will be recalled from Double-A Corpus Christi to make his first major league start since being tagged for six runs while getting just one out Aug. 3 at Texas.