Wandy Rodriguez saved his best for last Thursday in the Astros' 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, and Houston and the baseball world await what is meant by last.

Rodriguez retired his final 13 batters, perhaps just of his seven-inning start, but with the trade deadline four days away, the thought that they were the final 13 batters of his 1,107-inning Astros career was on a lot of minds.

As he treads down the same road of uncertainty as Hunter Pence does – talks are heightening on Pence and the decision time on Rodriguez will come in the next three days – his mind wasn't always among them.

"I don't have control over all that," Rodriguez, 32, said.

Those that matter were mostly concentrated in the lower-level seating bowl as scouts have been present at his most recent starts.

Betrayed a bit by his defense, which has been spotty at best through the first seven games (2-5) of this 10-game road trip, Rodriguez allowed three early runs, only one of which was earned. He walked one and struck out six.

"For the first two or three innings, I didn't feel very comfortable on the mound," Rodriguez (7-7) said. "Then you could see in how I threw that I felt more comfortable."

He pitched the Astros into a 3-3 game and an offense that hasn't been opportunistic but has gotten the job done in this series split came through as Rodriguez strengthened.

Jason Bourgeois, who has five hits in two starts the last two games, doubled home Rodriguez, who had reached on an error, for the go-ahead run in the fifth inning.