Shane Reynolds' best pitch of the day was to manager Larry Dierker.
Reynolds convinced Dierker he had recovered enough from a stomach ache to pitch and then threw seven shutout innings and Jeff Bagwell had three RBIs as the Houston Astros beat the Minnesota Twins 9-0 Tuesday.
"I told him (Dierker) if I could give us two, four five innings, that those were innings the bullpen wouldn't have to pitch," Reynolds said. "Finally, somewhere between 11:30 and ll:45 (game time was 12:35 p.m.) they decided to give it a try."
Reynolds suffered an attack of gastroenteritis, an inflamed stomach condition on Sunday night, and was originally scratched from the starting lineup.
He spent several hours in a hospital getting IV treatments and came to the Astrodome on Tuesday determined to take his turn in the rotation.
"He came in and said `I can pitch,' and I told him to go in the back and do some workouts to see if he'd get dizzy," Dierker said. "The trainer said he didn't think Shane could make himself sicker by pitching and the more he pitched the less the bullpen had to."
Reynolds (8-5) retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced and allowed only one baserunner past first base Marty Cordova's fourth inning double. C.J. Nitkowski, who was expected to start in Reynolds' place, pitched the final two innings of the five-hitter.
"The last few times out I've tried to overthrow but today maybe it was good to be tired," Reynolds said. "I lost about 10 pounds and I was tired but then you just try to throw strikes."
The Astros gave Reynolds plenty of offense. Craig Biggio and Carl Everett had three hits and two RBIs each and Bagwell drove in three runs on a double and single in Houston's 13-hit attack.
Bob Tewksbury (4-9) didn't last long against Bagwell and the Astros who took a 5-0 lead after two innings highlighted by Bagwell's two-run double in the first and his RBI single in the second.
Tewksbury pitched 1 2-3 innings and allowed eight hits and five runs and reliever Dan Serafini gave up four hits and four runs in 2 1-3 innings.
"They put away all the scalpels in the trainer's room so I can't cut my wrists," Tewksbury said. "I'll just have to get on the team plane and try again next time."
Everett doubled home a run in the first and Bill Spiers had an RBI single in the second. Biggio singled and scored in each of the first two innings.
"I think it was more that Tewksbury was a little off and we were a little on," Everett said. "We just went out and played aggressive. That's the kind of team we are."
Biggio hit a two-run double in the third inning and the Astros made it 9-0 in the fourth on Everett's single and a double play groundout by Tony Eusebio.
Tewkbury got off to a bad start against the Astros.
"When was the last time Tewksbury threw 27 pitches in the first inning?" Twins manager Tom Kelly asked. "I can't remember seeing that. That just wasn't our day. We were out of it in the first inning. They whipped us. Put it that way. This was just one of those days."
Notes: Bagwell and Bell each have 12-game hitting streaks. ... The Astros lead the NL with 79 stolen bases and they are also the leaders in being caught 36 times. ... The Twins have a 16-21 record at home and they are 20-18 on the road. ... Dave Clark hit .308 as a pinch-hitter with the Cubs last season but he's hitting .091 (2-for-22) this season with the Astros, who are last in the NL in pinch hitting. ... Tewksbury's brief performance boosted his road ERA from 5.08 to 5.87. He has a 3.25 ERA at home.
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