Rookie Ely pitches Dodgers to 8th straight win

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — John Ely pitched his third straight game of six or more innings without issuing a walk, Casey Blake and Blake Dewitt each drove in two runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers extended their winning streak to eight games with a 6-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Monday night.

Ely (2-1) allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings and struck out eight, six days after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks for his first big league victory.

The rookie right-hander, who turned 24 last Thursday, has faced 84 consecutive batters without allowing a base on balls — the longest current streak in the majors. He threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of his 25 hitters and went to a three-ball count just five times.

Ely has only three walks in 24 2-3 innings through his first four starts.

The Dodgers won for the 13th time in 16 games and did it without right fielder Andre Ethier, who missed his third straight game with a small fracture in his right pinky. He entered Monday leading the majors in batting average (.392) and RBIs (38) and was tied for the NL lead in home runs with 11.

Wandy Rodriguez (2-5) allowed four runs — one earned — and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings. His only strikeout came against his first batter, Russell Martin.

The Astros got an RBI single from Lance Berkman in the first inning, but the Dodgers came back with three runs in the bottom half. James Loney hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly and Blake drove in the other two with a double inside first base. Matt Kemp came all the way around from first, running through coach Larry Bowa's stop sign to score his major league-leading 33rd run.

In the fifth, Bowa emphatically waved Manny Ramirez around third on Kemp's double to the fence in right-center. But second baseman Jeff Keppinger took the throw from center fielder Michael Bourn and made a perfect relay to the plate for the easy out on Ramirez. The assist was Bourn's seventh, just four shy of his career-high total from last season.

The Dodgers made it 4-1 in the fourth when DeWitt tripled off the glove of right fielder Hunter Pence and scored on Jamey Carroll's sacrifice fly. The Astros got the run back in the fifth on Pedro Feliz's RBI single.

DeWitt drove in the final two runs with another triple past Pence's dive. It made him the first Dodger with two triples in a game since Rafael Furcal on June 13, 2007.

NOTES: Ethier, wearing a small splint on the top knuckle of his injured finger, worked out with his teammates but did not take any swings or catch any thrown balls. He was later examined by team physician Neal ElAttrache. ... Astros utility INF Geoff Blum made his 13th start of the season and his first at SS in place of Tommy Manzella, who is in a 3-for-35 rut over his last 13 games. Rookie manager Brad Mills has used a major league-high 36 lineups through his first 38 games. ... Martin singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and tie his longest in the majors. ... Carroll has played all but two innings at SS since Furcal went down with a left hamstring strain. The Dodgers are 13-6 since his injury. ... Dodgers pitchers have a 1.75 ERA during their winning streak. The relievers have allowed just two runs over 20 innings and have retired their last 21 batters. ... The Dodgers began a 26-game stretch in which 20 are at home.