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NL ROUNDUP

Berkman Finally Does His Job for Houston

July 26, 1999|From Associated Press

Until Sunday, Lance Berkman hadn't been having much fun with the Houston Astros.

The rookie was just two for 21 since being recalled from triple-A New Orleans July 16.

Then he got his first two major league RBIs as Houston beat San Diego, 5-2, for their second sweep of the Padres this season.

"They've got me batting fourth so that's my job and it was good to come through," said Berkman, who went two for four to raise his average to .160.

Berkman, the Astros' first-round draft choice in 1997, had an infield single in the first inning and a two-run single in the fourth that made the score 5-1. He was playing his ninth major league game.

Shane Reynolds (12-7) yielded one run and five hits in seven innings as Houston swept the four-game series, which included the completion of the game suspended when Manager Larry Dierker collapsed June 13.

St. Louis 6, Colorado 4--Mark McGwire hit his 35th home run, pulling him within one of major league leader Sammy Sosa, and the Cardinals completed a three-game sweep at Coors Field.

McGwire homered in the seventh inning, his eighth in 11 games, then left with tightness in his back. McGwire has 12 homers in July, and had two in 13 at-bats at Coors Field. His 492nd homer left him one behind Lou Gehrig, who is 16th on the career list.

New York 5, Chicago 1--Rickey Henderson homered for his 1,000th RBI and Al Leiter shut down Chicago for eight innings at New York as the Mets extended their winning streak to five.

Henderson went three for three with a walk and two RBIs. He homered in the second to reach 1,000 RBIs, drove in another run with an infield single in the fourth and doubled in the seventh.

Atlanta 5, Philadelphia 4--Chipper Jones homered in the 10th inning at Philadelphia to give Atlanta a split of the four-game series.

Ryan Klesko, Randall Simon and Andruw Jones also homered for Atlanta, which led, 4-1, in the eighth before Ron Gant's three-run double off Tom Glavine.

It was Chipper Jones' 10th homer in his last 20 games, and his 24th of the season.

Pittsburgh 6, Montreal 1--Jason Schmidt pitched a four-hitter and the Pirates scored five runs in the seventh inning at Montreal.

Schmidt (9-7) faced just three batters over the minimum.

Florida 4, Milwaukee 2--Alex Gonzalez tripled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning helping the Marlins complete a three-game sweep at Miami.

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