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Benes Knocks Out Astros

Andy Benes beat the Houston Astros with his arm and his bat.

Benes hit a solo homer and pitched six strong innings to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 2-1 victory over Houston on Thursday night.

"I'm just happy I hit one when we won," Benes said. "When I hit one last year in San Diego, (Steve) Finley hit a slam in the bottom of the ninth to beat us."

The Diamondbacks have won three straight, their longest winning streak since they won four in a row June 13-16. Houston has lost three straight after winning eight consecutive games.

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Game Summary

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  • Benes (6-9) allowed one run and six hits in six innings, striking out six. He also homered leading off the third against Jose Lima (13-5).

    "I've only hit six in 10 years so I don't have the right to pound my chest," Benes said.

    The Astros stranded 12 runners, including the bases loaded in first, fourth and seventh innings. Matt Mantei pitched the ninth for his 14th save and fourth since being traded to Arizona.

    "I'm getting more comfortable every time out there," Mantei said. "It's a lot more fun to be in this role on this team. You get more opportunities to do your job and you can really settle into the role."

    Following Benes' first homer since April 10, 1998, Tony Womack and David Dellucci singled. Womack advanced on a forceout and scored on Matt Williams' sacrifice fly.

    Houston scored its only run in the fourth when Derek Bell doubled and scored on Paul Bako's single.

    Benes got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first when he got Richard Hidalgo to hit into a double play. With two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth, Benes got Bill Spiers to fly out.

    Houston loaded the bases again in the seventh off reliever Gregg Olson. But Greg Swindell forced pinch-hitter Matt Mieske to ground out to end the threat.

    "We didn't even hit the ball when we got them on base. Not only did we not get the key hits, we didn't get many hits at all," Houston manager Larry Dierker said.

    Lima gave up two runs and seven hits in eight innings. He aso struck out seven.

    "I pitched a great game. You never think you are going to lose when you hold a team to two runs you have the kind of team we have," Lima said.


  • Arizona has won three straight games on the same road trip for the first time since winning four in a row May 28-31
  • Astros INF Jack Howell will undergo surgery for a ruptured tendon sheath in his right hand Friday. Howell was placed on the DL retroactively to Saturday and will likely miss 6-8 weeks
  • Craig Biggio had his 13-game hitting streak snapped
  • The home run by Andy Benes was the first time Houston has given up a home run to a pitcher since May 13, 1997 when Armando Reynoso homered for the Mets.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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