Matt Mieske didn't wait for Jeff Bagwell or Craig Biggio to save the Astros. He did it himself.
Mieske's second homer of the game keyed a four-run, ninth-inning rally that carried the Houston Astros to their 12th win in 14 games, 8-5 over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.
"When you have leaders like Bagwell and Biggio, it is a matter of patterning the way you play after the way they play," Mieske said. "When you are behind, everybody has to have good at-bats. It's not up to just one or two people."
It got much worse quickly for Veres and the Rockies. Derek Bell singled to second and one out later Tim Bogar walked. Daryle Ward hit an RBI single to right giving the Astros a 6-5 lead.
Veres then threw a wild pitch, scoring Bogar and Craig Biggio, who went 4-for-4, hit an RBI double to end the scoring. The Astros (60-40) have their best record ever after 100 games.
"We got timely hits and contributions from everybody," Biggio said. "We don't have a lot of guys that can hit home runs, but we do have a lot of guys who can drive the ball."
Brian Williams (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth for the win and Billy Wagner pitched a perfect ninth for his 26th save in 28 opportunities.
Mieske went 4-for-5 with three RBIs. It was his second career multihomer game and first four-hit game.
"We won the game on emotions," Houston manager Larry Dierker said. "Our breakthrough against Veres was something you don't do very often."
The Rockies fell 11 games under .500 for the first time this year.
Dante Bichette and Jeff Barry hit back-to-back solo homers in the seventh to give Colorado a 5-3 lead.
"These are the toughest of all to take," Bichette said. "When you're struggling like we are, nothing seems to go your way."
Biggio's 10th homer in te eighth inning, off Jerry Dipoto, made it a one-run game.
"I can't fault the job (Jerry) Dipoto and Veres," Colorado manager Jim Leyland said. "Veres has been one of the best in the league for a while."
Houston starter and Colorado native Scott Elarton failed to record his first win as a starter. He allowed seven hits and three runs in six innings. He did get his first major league hit.
The Astros took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Mieske and a run-scoring double by Bell.
©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed