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Rough stretch continues for Padres, who lose 7-2 as Astros complete 3-game sweep

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SAN DIEGO — Andrew Cashner pitched well at home, which he has now for 21 straight starts.

The rest of the San Diego Padres, though, are struggling.

Dallas Keuchel held San Diego to three hits in eight innings and Colby Rasmus hit a two-run homer to power the Houston Astros to their sixth straight win, 7-2 against the Padres on Wednesday.

The AL West-leading Astros swept the Padres for the first time since May 8-10, 2009. First-year manager A.J. Hinch had worked in San Diego's front office from September 2010 until just after A.J. Preller was hired as general manager in early August.

Houston outscored San Diego 30-9 and outhit the Padres 36-19.

The Padres, who raised expectations with an offseason roster overhaul, have lost seven of eight, including five of six on this homestand.

"Toward the end of the month, we got a little lackadaisical and started not playing good baseball," slugger Matt Kemp said. "I think we're pretty much even right now. We're not there but we're not out of it. We pretty much need to pick it up. The last week and a half have been not so good."

"I think we've been definitely trying too hard and making some big mistakes and just not clicking."

The Astros head home after an 8-1 West Coast trip gave them the best road record in the majors, 10-2.

The Astros have won each of the last 10 games started by Keuchel, tying the team record held by Roger Clemens, Donne Wall, Nolan Ryan and Joe Niekro.

Keuchel (3-0) allowed two hits in the first, when Wil Myers hit a leadoff single and scored on Matt Kemp's one-out double to right. The left-hander then retired 23 of his final 24 batters, including 14 straight from the first inning until Cashner singled to right leading off the sixth.

PHOTO: Houston Astros Jake Marisnick trots across home plate as San Diego Padres catcher Wil Nieves waits on the late throw in the third innning of a baseball game Wednesday April 29, 2015 in San Diego.  Marisnick scored on a sacrifice fly by Jose Altuve.   (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
Houston Astros Jake Marisnick trots across home plate as San Diego Padres catcher Wil Nieves waits on the late throw in the third innning of a baseball game Wednesday April 29, 2015 in San Diego. Marisnick scored on a sacrifice fly by Jose Altuve. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

Keuchel's ERA rose from 0.62 to 0.73. Three of his first four starts were scoreless. He's allowed runs in only two of his 37 innings this year. He struck out four and walked none.

Jose Altuve extended his hitting streak to eight games during which he's driven in 11 runs. He hit a sacrifice fly in the third, beat out an infield single in the fifth and hit an RBI double in the four-run ninth.

Rasmus homered several rows deep into the seats in right with one out in the fourth to give Houston a 3-1 lead. He also homered Monday night.

San Diego pitchers have allowed 12 home runs the last five games, all at spacious Petco Park.

Cashner (1-4) struck out a season-high 10 in seven innings, including the first six batters of the game to set a team record. He allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits, and walked one.

Cashner set a big league record with his 21st straight home start in which he allowed two or fewer earned runs. He passed Orel Hershiser of the Los Angeles Dodgers (April 26, 1985-April 29, 1989) and Jose Fernandez of Miami (April 13, 2013-May 4, 2014), who each had 20 in a row.

"It's been a tough month," Cashner said. "We hit when we haven't pitched and we've pitched when we haven't hit. ... Considering the teams I've been on here, I think it's a positive start."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: C Derek Norris didn't start after taking a foul ball off his right ankle Tuesday night. The Padres are off Thursday, which will give him an additional day of rest. Norris pinch-hit

UP NEXT

Astros: Houston returns home to open a four-game series against Seattle on Thursday, when RHP Scott Feldman (2-2, 4.81) is scheduled to start against LHP James Paxton (0-2, 6.86).

Padres: San Diego is off Thursday before opening a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies on Friday, when Ian Kennedy (0-1, 10.80) is scheduled to start against Eddie Butler (2-1, 3.27).

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