Astros 6, Dodgers 3
HOUSTON (AP) _ Scott Elarton stayed unbeaten in four decisions at home and Lance Berkman went 3-for-3 with a three-run homer as the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-3 Thursday.
Gary Sheffield of the Dodgers hit his fourth homer in three days against the Astros, raising his season total to 24. There have been 116 home runs in 34 games at Enron Field, just two short of last season’s total in the Astrodome.
Elarton (5-3) allowed one run and four hits in eight innings, his longest outing of the season, and struck out six. He was facing the Dodgers for the first time in his career and, after Mark Grudzielanek’s first-inning single, he retired 13 straight.
Marc Valdes got three outs for his first save since May 11, 1997, for Montreal at Los Angeles. He allowed a run-scoring, double-play grounder to Chad Kreuter.
Darren Dreifort (4-6) lost his third straight decision and for the fifth time in his last six. Dreifort, who had been 2-0 against Houston this year, gave up five runs _ three earned _ and five hits in seven innings.
Houston stopped a four-game home losing streak and ended the Dodgers’ four-game road winning streak.
Berkman, who matched his career high for hits, homered in the first following walks to Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.
Dreifort hit an RBI double in the fifth, but Julio Lugo’s slow bouncer in the sixth went through the legs of Grudzielanek at second for a two-run error that made it 5-1. Moises Alou had a run-scoring double in the eighth.
Notes: When Dreifort hit Chris Truby with a pitch in the second inning, it gave the Astros a major-league high 48 hit batters this season ... Sheffield extended his hitting streak to a season-high-tying 12 games. ... The Dodgers’ bullpen had gone 7 1-3 hitless innings before Berkman’s eighth-inning single off Terry Adams.