Young, the pitcher, goes seven; Young, the hitter, hits two HRs

HOUSTON (AP) -- Chris Young relied on his fastball over and over,
and the Houston Astros came away empty every time until Craig
Biggio ended his no-hit bid in the sixth inning.

By the time the Astros broke through against the intimidating
6-foot-10 rookie right-hander, it was too late.

"When you have a lead after seven innings on our team, you can
pretty much count on us getting the win," Young said.

Chris Young bounced back nicely from his worst start of the
year, Michael Young homered twice and drove in three runs and the
Texas Rangers held off the Astros 6-5 Saturday to end a five-game
losing streak.

Rod Barajas homered for the second straight game, Alfonso
Soriano added a two-run double and Francisco Cordero got five outs
for his 18th save in 21 chances. The Rangers won for just the
second time in 11 road games.

Texas is 1-5 on its trip. After Sunday's series finale, the
Rangers return home for a four-game series against the AL
West-leading Los Angeles Angels.

"This has been a tough stretch for us," Barajas said. "For us
to give Chris a lead and for him to shut them down was definitely

Texas, 4-1 against the Astros this year, clinched possession of
the Silver Boot trophy that goes to the winner of Lone Star Series.
The Rangers won it in 2001 and 2004 on a tiebreaker based on runs.

Biggio and Lance Berkman hit two-run homers, and Morgan Ensberg
had a solo shot as the Astros lost at home for the first time in
nine games.

"We've had a couple of those games where we came back, but not
all the way," said Astros manager Phil Garner, whose club is 1-32
when trailing after six innings. "We've got to get over that hump.
I really thought today would be the day. We had good energy and I
just thought it would happen."

Chris Young (7-4), who gave up season highs of five runs and 10
hits in a loss to the Angels on Monday, allowed three runs and
seven hits in seven innings.

Brandon Backe (6-6) lost his third straight start, allowing six
runs and five hits, including three homers, in six innings. He
struck out seven and walked two in his first defeat in 10 career
home starts.

Young had little trouble early with the light-hitting Astros.
Their .244 team batting average, 568 hits and 270 runs coming in
were all ranked last in the majors.

Young retired 17 of his first 19 batters, allowing walks in the
fourth and fifth innings.

"He was outstanding," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said.
"That's about as good of stuff as he's had."

Young didn't allow a hit until Biggio's two-out single to center
in the sixth. The crowd of 41,868 at Minute Maid Park stood
following the hit, which came on Young's 83rd pitch.

Berkman homered just over the right-field fence on the next-at
bat, and Ensberg followed with another to cut the Rangers' lead to
6-3. Showalter came to the mound to settle Young down, and Young
responded by inducing Jason Lane into a groundout to the shortstop
to end the inning.

"Biggio is a great hitter ... he's going to get his hits,"
Young said. "But no way was I upset or emotional."

Showalter agreed, saying, "It didn't affect him. You could tell
by the way he went out in the seventh and shut them down."

Biggio chased reliever John Wasdin in the eighth with a two-run
homer that smacked into the brick wall behind the left-field fence.
Cordero entered and finished the inning.

Game notes
Michael Young had a multihomer game for the first time this
season and sixth time in his career. ... Ensberg set a club record
for third basemen with 18 homers before the All-Star break. ... A
30-inch silver boot was awarded to the Rangers following the game.
It replaces the glass boot that was damaged when the Rangers
brought it home after winning last year's interleague series at
Houston. ... The wives of Rangers and Astros players and coaches
participated in a charity softball game, dubbed the "Diamond
Boot," following the game. Astros pitcher Roger Clemens and
Rangers pitching coach Orel Hershiser were the coaches.