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Astros Win In Nine

The Florida Marlins gave Jeff Bagwell a pitch to hit in the ninth inning, and that was a mistake.

Bagwell hit the Houston Astros' fourth home run of the game Saturday night for a 5-4 victory over Florida.

"I guess we know why Bagwell walked six times Friday, huh?" Marlins manager John Boles said.

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Game Summary

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  • In the first game of the series, Bagwell tied a 61-year-old major-league record with six bases on balls. But with the score 4-4 and one out in the ninth Saturday, Brian Edmondson (5-7) threw a 3-2 fastball to Bagwell, who hit it 410 feet over the center-field wall.

    "In those situations, I don't see too many fastballs," Bagwell said. "It was nice."

    The homer was Bagwell's 37th.

    "This is why a team like Houston is in the playoff every year," Boles said. "They have a bunch of people you'd pay to see play."

    The game took only 2 hours and 12 minutes, a sharp contrast to the five-hour, 44-minute marathon Friday that Houston won 6-4 in 16 innings. The Astros left no runners on base after stranding 20 Friday.

    "Any time we can win in nine innings after 16 innings the night before, it's a fun game," Bagwell said.

    Jose Lima, bidding to become the National League's first 17-game winner, took a four-hitter and a 4-1 lead into the eighth, but the Marlins rallied to tie the game.

    Houston rookie Glen Barker hit his first major-league home run in the seventh. Carl Everett and Bill Spiershomered for the Astros. All three homers came against knuckleballer Dennis Springer.

    "I don't think he has much faith in his knuckleball," Everett said. "They go a long way when you hit them."

    Doug Henry (2-2) retired one batter, and Billy Wagner pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save.

    Houston improved to 5-0 in Miami this year despite blowing a lead for the second night in a row. With the bullpen depleted by Friday's marathon, Lima couldn't get through the eighth.

    Florida pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay started the inning with a bunt single, Luis Castillo singled and Bruce Aven hit an two-out RBI double. Kevin Millar walked, and Todd Dunwoody's two-run triple made the score 4-4.

    Lima was charged with four runs in 7 2-3 innings.

    "I'm not going to complain about his performance," manager Larry Dierker said. "He saved the bullpen, but wasn't able to get the last guy out."

    Dennis Springer allowed four runs in eight innings. He remained winless in six starts since shutting out Atlanta on July 21.

    Spiers homered in the fourth to give Houston a 1-0 lead, but Danny Bautista tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a 430-foot homer to center.

    After Barker homered, Bagwell singled and Everett hit a two-run homer, his 19th.


  • After the game, Florida optioned left-hander Jesus Sanchez to Triple-A Calgary and recalled lefty Vic Darensbourg from Calgary.
  • Marlins outfielder Cliff Floyd, who was eligible to come off the disabled list Friday, said he's at 60 percent and might miss the rest of the season. Floyd has played in only 46 games because of injuries to his left knee and right Achilles' tendon.
  • Bizarre play: Marlins catcher Jorge Fabregas tried to pick Everett off first base in the fourth inning, but the ball slipped out of his hand and rolled to second baseman Luis Castillo. Everett broke for second, and Castillo thew him out to end the inning.
  • Castillo extended his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games.
  • The wife of Houston starter Mike Hampton had a seven-pound, nine-ounce baby boy Saturday in Houston. Hampton, who left Miami on Friday night when his wife went into labor, will make his next scheduled start Monday against the Mets in New York.
  • Houston's Craig Biggio and Ken Caminiti took the night off after playing all 16 innings Friday.

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