HOUSTON — The Astros defeated the Padres, 10-6, Saturday in a game that saw Houston pitcher Mike Scott reach 285 strikeouts and Padre Tony Gwynn steal five bases.
Gwynn became only the fifth player since 1900 to steal five bases in a game. The last to do so was Alan Wiggins, then with the Padres, in 1984.
Scott, with a 300-strikeout season a possibility, took a casual attitude about reaching that mark.
"I know it's within range, but I'm not going to go out and beat myself to get it," said Scott, who he struck out 11 Padres in seven innings.
"I'd like to have 300 strikeouts, but if it comes it comes. I'm not going to worry about it."
Scott, 17-10 and league-leading 2.32 earned-run average, leads the majors in strikeouts with 285 and has struck out 10 or more batters 10 times this season. His strikeout total is the most for a major leaguer since Steve Carlton struck out 286 in 1982. "My arm feels better than it ever has at this time of the season, and I've thrown more innings this year than ever before," Scott said. "Tonight I had the best forkball I've had in a while and I used it when I got in trouble."
With the victory, the Astros take an 11-game lead over San Francisco and Cincinnati with 14 games left. Their magic number for winning the National League West is four.
Houston Manager Hal Lanier believes his team has been underestimated for much of the season.
"We've been sold short since before the season," he said. "We didn't make believers out of a lot of people until a couple of months ago, but we believe in ourselves."
Jose Cruz hit a two-run homer for the Astros, who had 16 hits. He drove in three runs and Bill Doran and Glenn Davis drove in two each.
Ray Hayword, 0-1, was the loser in his first major league appearance as the Padres lost their seventh straight game on the road.
San Diego went ahead in the first on Kevin McReynolds' 22nd home run of the season, a two-run shot.
The Astros took the lead, 3-2, in the first. Billy Hatcher singled and scored on Doran's double. Doran scored on a pair of ground outs, the last by Davis.
Kevin Bass then singled, moved to third on a wild pitch and a passed ball and scored when Cruz singled.
Benito Santiago's second home run of the season tied the score in the second, but Houston took a 6-3 lead in the second on RBI singles by Doran, Davis and Bass.
The Astros increased their lead to 8-3 in the seventh when Cruz hit his 10th home run of the season, a two-run shot.
McReynolds singled home Gwynn in the eighth.