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Astros: 16 Innings, 1st Place

The Houston Astros struck out 21 times, stranded 20 runners, blew a four-run lead and still won.

Ken Caminiti hit his second home run of the night leading off the 16th inning, and Houston regained first place in the NL Central by beating the Florida Marlins 6-4 Friday night.

Seven Marlins pitchers walked 17 Astros, a team record for both clubs. Houston's strikeout total broke the team record of 20 set against Kerry Wood of the Chicago Cubs last year.

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Game Summary

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  • "We won the game," Caminiti said. "That's all that matters."

    Jeff Bagwell went 0-for-2 and walked six times to tie the major league record.

    "Not really the record I'm looking for," he said. "It was a crazy game. But it's nice to play 16 when you win."

    Houston's Craig Biggio and Shane Reynolds each struck out four times.

    "All I know is I'm just glad we won," Biggio said. "I was thinking, `This could be a really bad day."'

    The Astros managed just seven hits and had none in extra innings until Caminiti homered off Jesus Sanchez (4-6).

    "When you get in that type of game, I think everyone was going up there trying to end it with one swing," Caminiti said.

    "They know how to win these kind of games," Marlins catcher Mike Redmond said. "We're learning."

    Trever Miller (2-2) pitched three scoreless innings, and Billy Wagner got three outs for his 31st save, a career best. Houston, which also got a sacrifice fly from Tim Bogar in the 16th, moved one game ahead of Cincinnati in the NL Central.

    Marlins pitcher Alex Fernandez had a chance to win the game as a pinch hitter in the 11th, but he flied out to the warning track with the bases loaded to end the inning.

    "I was afraid of that guy," Houston manager Larry Dierker said. "He's done us in in the past."

    Florida outhit Houston 15-7 but stranded 21 runners.

    "It's more frustrating for me than for Larry, I can tell you that," Marlins manager John Boles said. "There were a lot of ifs in this game."

    The game matched the longest by innings in the major leagues this season, Arizona's 7-6 win over Los Angeles on April 13. It took 5 hours, 44 minutes, the longest by time in Marlins' history.

    Caminiti hit a two-out, two-run homer in the third. The homer was his third of the season, and his first since returning from the disabled list Monday after missing 79 games with a calf injury.

    "I was really tired as the game went on," he said. "But it was the first game where I really had a good time and enjoyed myself."

    Caminiti homered from both sides of the plate for the 10th time, extending his NL record.

    Carl Everett led off the second with his 18th homer for Houston. Reynolds allowed three runs two earned in 6 2-3 innings.

    Florida trailed 4-0 but came back with single runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth.

    Marlins starter Ryan Dempster threw 95 pitches in 3 1-3 innings. He struck out eight but walked seven, threw two wild pitches and gave up two homers.

    More than four hours after leaving the game, he stood in the losing clubhouse and looked at the clock, which said 1 a.m.

    "This one's over," he said. "It's a new day already."


  • Fernandez will start Sunday after receiving a cortisone shot in his sore shoulder and missing one start.
  • Bagwell has 849 career walks, breaking the Astros career mark of 847 set by Jimmy Wynn.
  • Bagwell's six walks matched the major league record set by Jimmy Foxx of Boston on June 16, 1938 and tied by Andre Thornton of Cleveland on May 2, 1984. Vince Coleman of the New York Mets set the NL record of five walks on Aug. 10, 1992.
  • The Marlins' previous record of 16 strikeouts was achieved twice. They gave up 12 walks Aug. 12, 1993 against Philadelphia.

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