By KRISTIE RIEKEN
HOUSTON -- After collecting 52 hits in their first four games, the Phillies' hitting is something to talk about.
Just don't ask Philadelphia starter J.A. Happ to be part of that discussion.
"I don't want to make anything of it. I don't want to jinx anything," Happ said. "Let's just let these guys do their job. When they come out like that, it really takes the pressure off. You don't have to try to be perfect."
Placido Polanco had four hits and two RBIs, and Raul Ibanez drove in three runs to help the Phillies beat the winless Houston Astros 8-0 on Friday night.
Happ (1-0), David Herndon, Danys Baez and Jose Contreras combined for the eight-hit shutout, sending the Astros to an 0-4 start for the first time since 2007.
The Phillies had 16 hits on Friday and have had at least 10 hits in each of their four games this season.
"When the top of the lineup is doing what they are doing, that is when good things happen," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said, adding that newcomer Polanco improved the lineup. "We are going to knock in a bunch of runs."
Meanwhile, it was the second shut out this season for the Astros, who have struggled with Lance Berkman on the disabled list.
"We haven't been hitting, we haven't been pitching all that well, so we've got to do a combination of things," Houston's Michael Bourn said.
Astros starter Bud Norris (0-1), who spent most of last season in Triple-A, lasted just 2 2/3 innings. He allowed six hits and three runs with four walks.
"I was all over the place a little bit tonight," Norris said. "I have some adjustments I need to make either mechanically or mentally and I'll figure those out, make those adjustments and get back out there."
Happ allowed six hits and struck out five in five-plus innings, and Herndon gave up the last two hits before Baez and Contreras each pitched a perfect inning to end the game.
"I am happy with it, but it would have been nice to have been a little more economical," Happ said. "I felt like I threw some of my off-speed stuff for strikes, and that allowed me to get out of some jams tonight."
Ryan Howard got things going in the first with his run-scoring double. Ibanez made it 3-0 with his double later in the inning that knocked in Polanco and Howard, and Chase Utley's solo homer that landed in the bullpen in right center field made it 4-0 in the fourth.
Howard doubled before scoring on a double by Ibanez, and Lopez finally got out of that inning when Bourn made an over-the-shoulder catch while in a dead sprint near the center field wall on a fly ball by Shane Victorino.
Jimmy Rollins doubled in the fifth inning before a double by Polanco sent him home and made it 6-0. Utley stretched the lead to 7-0 when his single scored Polanco, who added another run with his own single in the seventh inning.
"Everybody is hungry," Polanco said. "Everybody wants to get base hits all the time, every at-at. We don't throw at-bats away. It is kind of tough to find a team that from the No. 1 hitter to No. 9, to do it like that. I think this is that team."
Astros manager Brad Mills had seen enough from Norris after he walked Happ with two outs to load the bases in the third. He was replaced by Wilton Lopez, who was called up from Triple-A Round Rock after Wednesday's game. Lopez gave up three hits and two runs in 1 1/3 innings.
Mills, Houston's first-year manager, said his team is swinging better but that things just haven't "fallen into place."
"You never envision this, but at the same time, teams are going to go through things like this, so you try to dig out the positive things that happened, and we're able to do that," he said.
Norris retired the first two hitters of the second inning before allowing consecutive singles to Rollins and Polanco. He loaded the bases by walking Utley, but got out of the jam when Bourn caught a fly ball from Howard.
Hunter Pence got his first hit of the season, breaking an 0-for-12 streak, on a single with two outs in the first. But Pedro Feliz struck out to end the inning after a walk by Carlos Lee, who is mired in an 0-for-11 drought.
Bourn and Jeff Keppinger had back-to-back singles in the third inning, but Happ retired the next three batters. Keppinger doubled with one out in the fifth before groundouts by Pence and Lee ended that inning.
Feliz got on base on an error by Polanco when he couldn't handle his hard-hit grounder in the sixth. Happ was replaced by Herndon after he walked Geoff Blum with no outs in the sixth. The Phillies turned a double play before Tommy Manzella grounded out for the third out.
NOTES -- An MRI exam on Astros RHP Sammy Gervacio's right shoulder revealed inflammation of the rotator cuff. He will begin treatment to deal with the inflammation and could be ready to return within 15 days. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list after Wednesday's game. ... Bourn received his Gold Glove award in a pre-game ceremony on Friday. It was Bourn's first Gold Glove.