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Archive for Friday, August 22, 2003

Astros solve Wood, clip Cubs

Giants’ Bonds beats Braves again with home run in 10th inning

August 22, 2003

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— Kerry Wood thought he had his good stuff. It didn't matter to the Houston Astros.

One night after Houston managed only four hits, Craig Biggio hit a two-run homer and the Astros beat Wood for the third time this season with a 9-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs Thursday night.

The NL Central-leading Astros took two of three in a key series against the Cubs, who dropped 1 1/2 games out of first place. Houston finished with 16 hits, one short of its season high.

Wood (11-10) lost for the fourth time in five decisions. He lasted only four innings and left trailing 5-0.

"I had as good stuff as I have all year," Wood said. "It was like they knew what was coming. I still went out and made the pitches and my velocity was pretty good."

Ron Villone (5-2) threw five solid innings and benefited from Houston's early offense.

"It wasn't a huge series, there is so much baseball left," Astros catcher Brad Ausmus said. "It wasn't an overwhelming amount of pressure, but it was the last chance, the last chance we have, to go against the Cubs. It's nice to beat a team you know is going to be there at the end."

Wood allowed six hits, walked two and struck out five -- boosting his major-league-leading strikeout total to 208. He has reached 200 strikeouts four times in his five big-league seasons.

Giants 4, Braves 3 (10)

San Francisco -- Barry Bonds beat the Atlanta Braves with an extra-inning homer for the second time in three days, connecting for his 652nd career home run in the 10th inning of San Francisco's victory. After Atlanta tied it with a stirring, three-run rally in the ninth, Bonds hit his major-league-leading 39th homer on the first pitch he saw from Trey Hodges (3-2).

The drive -- Bonds' 100th career homer at Pacific Bell Park -- landed in the center-field stands, and his teammates mobbed Bonds at home plate.

Thanks to Bonds' heroics, the Giants finished a three-game sweep of baseball's best team with their third straight one-run victory.

Bonds beat the Braves 5-4 Tuesday night with a similar shot.

Cardinals 6, Pirates 3

St. Louis -- Jim Edmonds hit his second homer of the game, a three-run shot in the ninth inning that sent St. Louis past Pittsburgh. Edmonds won it with his 32nd home run, connecting with one out. He got a break two pitches earlier when third baseman Jose Hernandez muffed his foul pop near the stands, though no error was charged. Miguel Cairo homered and Scott Rolen was 2-for-4 with an RBI double as the Cardinals took two of three from the Pirates. St. Louis won three of four at Pittsburgh last week.

Diamondbacks 9, Reds 3

Phoenix -- Junior Spivey homered for the second time in three games and Luis Gonzalez drove in two runs, leading Arizona past Cincinnati. Alex Cintron also had two RBIs and pinch-hitter Shea Hillenbrand hit a two-run homer. Arizona beat Cincinnati for the 18th time in 20 meetings and pulled within 2 1/2 games of Philadelphia in the NL wild-card race.

Dodgers 2, Expos 1

Los Angeles -- Cesar Izturis hit a pair of RBI doubles and Odalis Perez won his fourth straight start as Los Angeles beat Montreal.

Brewers 5, Phillies 2

Milwaukee -- Keith Ginter hit a go-ahead homer off Vincente Padilla in the sixth inning, and Milwaukee beat Philadelphia to complete a three-game sweep. After a five-game winning streak, including a three-game sweep of St. Louis last weekend, the Phillies are 0-3 on a season-long 13-game, four-city road trip. They have lost 11 of the last 13 on the road.

Mets 5, Padres 1

San Diego -- Ty Wigginton hit a three-run homer and Roger Cedeno added a two-run shot, leading New York past San Diego. Wigginton hit his ninth homer of the season in the first inning off Oliver Perez (4-7) as New York avoided the three-game sweep. Cedeno's sixth homer made it 5-0 in the second. Jae Seo (7-8) allowed one run and six hits in six innings.

Rockies 5, Marlins 4

Denver -- Todd Helton led off the ninth inning with a home run against Braden Looper, giving Colorado a win over Florida and a three-game sweep. Florida rallied for two runs in the eighth and tied it in the ninth on Alex Gonzalez's homer before Helton hit the fourth game-ending homer of his career.

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