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Diamondbacks Can't Stop Astros

September 07, 1998|From Associated Press

PHOENIX — Once the Houston bats start connecting, they seem to never stop. Just ask the shellshocked Arizona Diamondbacks.

Sean Berry led a 17-hit Astro onslaught with a two-run homer and four RBIs Sunday and Mike Hampton pitched seven shutout innings as Houston pounded the Diamondbacks, 10-1.

"You've always got to appreciate blowout games," infielder Ricky Gutierrez said. "Most of the season we have a lot of tough games, one-run games and two-run games. In a game like this, it's very comfortable and you can go out kind of loose."

Since the All-Star break, Berry is batting .468 with seven home runs and 21 RBIs.

"He's just been on fire," Manager Larry Dierker said. "It's been that way with this team and I guess that's probably the same way with a lot of teams that win. [Bill] Spiers goes down and gets hurt and Berry starts tearing the cover off the ball."

Hampton (11-6) gave up seven hits, struck out five and walked three before he was relieved by Mike Magnante in the eighth. The seven-inning effort was important since the Houston bullpen was severely depleted after Saturday's 12-inning 6-5 victory over Arizona.

Omar Daal (7-10), in by far his worst performance as a Diamondback, was rocked for a season-high seven runs and 12 hits in four-plus innings. He was lifted after giving up two singles and a double without an out in the fifth.

The Astros, winners of 14 of their last 18 games, had six extra-base hits. Several of the hits bounced off the gloves of veteran infielders Matt Williams and Jay Bell.

"The zero errors is not always indicative of good defense," Arizona Manager Buck Showalter said. "I think tonight's a good example of that."

Houston scored twice before its first out when Craig Biggio led off the game with a double, Gutierrez singled and Derek Bell doubled in both of them, his 96th and 97th RBIs of the season.


WHO: Arizona Diamondbacks

WHERE: at Arizona

WHEN: Tonight, 6; Tuesday, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

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