Astros win arbitration case

The Astros’ run of success in arbitration hearings continued Thursday when an arbitration panel ruled in favor of the club in its case against pitcher Wandy Rodriguez, who will make a salary $5 million this year. He was seeking $7 million.

Rodriguez, who led the club in wins (14), starts (33), innings pitched (205 2/3) and strikeouts (193), still nearly doubles his salary from the $2.65 million he made in 2009. Arbitrators Richard Bloch, Elizabeth Neumeier and Frederic Horowitz made their decision after hearing the case Wednesday at the Renaissance Vinoy Hotel in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“We’re pleased with the result,” Astros general manager Ed Wade said. “Now, it is time to focus on the upcoming season. Wandy is a tremendous pitcher who we think very highly of. We expect great things from him.”

Rodriguez, 31, has a career 51-52 record with a 4.33 ERA and has made at least 20 starts of each of his five Major League seasons. He finished ninth in the National League last year in ERA and was 10th in strikeouts per nine innings.

The Astros have not lost a case since 1996 (Rick Wilkins). They beat Mark Loretta and Jose Valverde in 2008, but their most recent case to go to hearing a prior to that was with Darryl Kile in 1997.

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