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Bagwell Double Play, Homer Save Astros

June 07, 1997|From Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Jeff Bagwell hit a home run after Houston nearly blew a seven-run lead, then started an odd, game-ending double play that preserved the Astros' 8-7 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday.

The Padres, who left the bases loaded in the eighth inning, put runners at the corners with one out in the ninth.

Quilvio Veras hit a line drive to first base that Bagwell dropped. But Bagwell touched the bag and threw to catcher Brad Ausmus, trapping Archi Cianfrocco in a rundown.

Ausmus threw to third baseman Tim Bogar, who tagged Cianfrocco for the final out.

Bagwell's solo shot--his National League-leading 19th--gave the Astros an 8-6 lead in the sixth. It came a half inning after the Padres scored six runs on six consecutive hits off Mike Hampton, capped by Ken Caminiti's three-run home run.

Bagwell finished two for three and scored three runs. Luis Gonzalez was three for five, scoring twice and driving in one run.

Tony Gwynn was three for five with two RBIs and extended his hitting streak to 16 games. He raised his batting average to .407, four points behind major league leader Larry Walker of Colorado.

Gwynn's second RBI single pulled the Padres to 8-7 in the sixth. With 2,652 hits, Gwynn needs two to tie Ted Williams for 56th place on the all-time list.

Hampton held the Padres to two hits through four innings before allowing five singles and Caminiti's' home run with one out in the fifth.

Gwynn hit an RBI single with the bases loaded and Steve Finley followed with a two-run single. Caminiti then drove a 1-and-2 pitch over the right-field fence, his fifth home run. A frustrated Hampton pounded his glove twice on the grass in front of the mound. He was relieved by Jose Lima (1-3).

Lima pitched 2 1/3 innings, giving up one run on five hits. Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 11th save.

The Astros piled it on against Joey Hamilton (4-3), who gave up seven runs and nine hits and three walks in four innings.

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