Ian Kinsler homered twice and the Texas Rangers beat the visiting Houston Astros, 6-1, last night in an inter-league game in which Houston's Ivan Rodriguez matched the major league record for games caught.

Rodriguez, who began his career at age 19 in 1991 and played 12 seasons in Texas, homered in the fifth inning for the Astros. It was his 2,226th career game behind the plate to tie Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk.

Kevin Millwood (7-4) worked seven innings despite deflecting two grounders with his throwing hand, allowing one run to win his third straight start. The righthander is 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA in eight starts at hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark this season.

Astros manager Cecil Cooper already has said that Rodriguez will catch tonight, which would break the tie with Fisk.

In other interleague games:

* At Denver, Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena and the Tampa Bay Rays powered their way past Colorado, 12-4, snapping the Rockies' 11-game winning streak with a franchise-best 11 extra-base hits.

* At Boston, David Ortiz homered to start a six-run fourth inning, then added a two-run single to finish it and the Red Sox beat the Florida Marlins, 8-2.

* At Baltimore, Orioles first baseman Aubrey Huff muffed a seventh-inning pop down the rightfield line that produced two unearned runs in a 6-4 loss to the New York Mets.

* At New York, Robinson Cano hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning and matched a career high with four hits, leading CC Sabathia (6-4) and the Yankees to a 5-3 win over the Washington Nationals.

* At Minneapolis, Glen Perkins (2-3) won his first start off the disabled list, Joe Mauer backed him with his second four-hit game of the season and Minnesota Twins beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-2.

* At Cleveland, Yovani Gallardo (7-3) won for the third time in four starts despite walking a season-high six as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Indians, 7-5.

J.J. Hardy had two hits and two RBI for Milwaukee.

* At Kansas City, Gil Meche (4-5) pitched a four-hit shutout and Mark Teahen had three hits and drove in a run as the Royals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-0.

* At St. Louis, Albert Pujols hit his fifth home run in five games - and the longest homer at Busch Stadium this season - and Adam Wainwright (7-4) worked seven strong innings to help the Cardinals rout the Detroit Tigers and ace Justin Verlander (7-3), 11-2.

Pujols lined his 23rd homer an estimated 446 feet over the leftfield wall in the sixth inning.

* At San Diego, Felix Hernandez (7-3) pitched a two-hit complete game as Seattle defeated the Padres, 5-0.

* At Chicago, the game between the White Sox and the Cubs at Wrigley Field was postponed by rain. No makeup date was announced.

In an NL game:

* At Cincinnati, Laynce Nix drove in three runs and Brandon Phillips had three hits, helping the Reds overcome a couple of rain delays for a 7-2 victory over Atlanta.

Noteworthy

* Righthander John Smoltz is set to make his first start for the Red Sox on June 25.

Boston manager Terry Francona said Smoltz, who hasn't pitched in the majors since having shoulder surgery a year ago, will pitch on the road against the Washington Nationals.

The Red Sox signed Smoltz, 42, in January as a free agent after he spent 20 seasons with Atlanta.

* New York Mets lefthander Johan Santana insists his left knee isn't hurt and said location was his only problem while surrendering a career-high nine runs in a 15-0 loss to the New York Yankees Sunday.

* Washington Nationals manager Manny Acta says he's not worried about a report that he'll be fired because his team, at 16-46, is off to one of the worst starts in major league history.

Foxsports.com reported Saturday that Acta will be replaced by bench coach Jim Riggleman.

* Struggling Detroit Tigers pitcher Dontrelle Willis (1-4, 7.49 ERA) will not make his next start on Saturday, according to manager Jim Leyland, who declined to elaborate.

* Atlanta Braves minor leaguer Rafael Cruz has been suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Baseball announced that the righthanded reliever tested positive for traces of the steroid Stanozolol.

In other news, the Braves activated first baseman Casey Kotchman (strained right calf) off the 15-day disabled list.

* Khalil Greene will likely be at a new position when he's ready to return to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Greene has been playing third base instead of his usual shortstop during a rehab assignment he began last week. Manager Tony La Russa says switching positions could lessen the pressure on Greene, who has been on the disabled list, dealing with social anxiety problems.

* Texas Rangers closer Frank Francisco, who hasn't pitched since June 3 because of shoulder stiffness, said he is ready to pitch again in a game. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday.

In other news, the Rangers cut several staff members from their front office. Team spokesman John Blake said the cuts amounted to less than 10 percent of the staff. *