Houston at Baltimore

W: H. Penn (1-0) L: B. Backe (6-4)
S: B. Ryan (17)
HR: HOU - J. Lane (9), M. Ensberg (15)   BAL - J. Gibbons (10), L. Bigbie (1)

Bigbie sparks Orioles in return from disabled list

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

BALTIMORE -- Hayden Penn got the baseball from his first major-league win, courtesy of teammate Sidney Ponson.

The ball that Larry Bigbie hit for his first home run of the season was held ransom by the Baltimore bullpen, which wanted to poke some fun at the veteran before finally handing it over.

Bigbie and Jay Gibbons homered in a six-run second inning, and the Orioles ended the Houston Astros' five-game winning streak with an 8-5 victory Monday night.

Playing in his first game since going on the disabled list May 28 with a strained left hamstring, Bigbie homered on the first pitch he saw from Brandon Backe. The outfielder hit 15 home runs last season, but needed 113 at-bats and a stint on the DL before finally going deep for the initial time in 2005.

"It's just good to get the goose-egg off the board," Bigbie said. "You keep seeing it up there and the guys kind of razz you about it."

Then, motioning toward the corner of the clubhouse where several members of the bullpen had assembled, he added, "They kept the home run ball, just to be funny."

Bigbie parlayed the opposite-field shot into his first three-hit game of the season. It was a sharp contrast to his play in April and May, when he hit .241 with little power.

"Hopefully I get things rolling and throw aside those first 100 at-bats," he said.

Making his fourth start since being summoned from Double-A Bowie, Penn (1-0) earned his first win in the majors despite allowing five runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

"The numbers weren't the best, but I kept us in the game," the right-hander said.

B.J. Ryan, the fourth Baltimore pitcher, worked the ninth for his 17th save.

Sammy Sosa drove in two runs and Melvin Mora doubled in a run and walked three times for the first-place Orioles, who had lost four of five to end a 13-game road trip during which they went 6-7.

"It's good to be home, playing in front of your own fans," manager Lee Mazzilli said.

Jason Lane and Morgan Ensberg both hit two-run homers, and Mike Lamb had three hits for the Astros, now 7-24 on the road.

"It was a clunker, yeah," Houston manager Phil Garner said. "We've been living and dying by the long ball. I'm getting greedy here, but I'd like to see us get our hits in bunches with guys on base."

After Lane gave Houston a 2-0 lead in the second inning, Baltimore got seven hits -- five for extra bases -- off Backe (4-6) in the bottom half.

Rafael Palmeiro led off with a double and scored on Gibbons' 10th homer. Bigbie hit Backe's next pitch into the left-field seats, Mora added an RBI double and Sosa capped the uprising with a two-run double.

"The fastball to Gibbons, I put it across the plate and he smoked it," Backe said. "He hit a pitch that wasn't supposed to be where it was. He got it and took advantage of it."

The pitch to Bigbie was better, but the result was the same.

"It was a pretty good pitch, to tell you the truth," Backe said. "He'd been on the DL and off the field for a while, so you wouldn't think the first pitch on the outer third just above the knees would have gone out of the yard from that guy."

In the third, Bigbie singled, stole second and scored on a double by David Newhan for a 7-2 lead.

That was enough offense for Penn, who gave up a total of six earned runs in his first three starts but didn't have a win to show for it.

"I've seen him progress every start," Mazzilli said.

Backe had won his last three decisions, but was no match for a team that entered with a major league-best .284 batting average. The right-hander allowed seven runs, 10 hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.

"He had one bad inning," Garner said. "We never recovered from it."

Ensberg hit his 15th home run, the fifth in nine games, and Adam Everett doubled in a run to make it 7-5 in the sixth. Bigbie hit an RBI single in the bottom half.


Every Baltimore starter except Sal Fasano got at least one hit. ... Houston rookie Willy Taveras stretched his hitting streak to 10 games. ... Baltimore's Brian Roberts has a hit in 37 of his last 39 games and 51 of 56 overall.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

L. Bigbie
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1

S. Sosa
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF5010001 .294
Chris Burke, LF5000002 .187
Craig Biggio, 2B4010101 .275
Lance Berkman, DH3100102 .248
Morgan Ensberg, 3B2112100 .279
Mike Lamb, 1B4230001 .214
Jason Lane, RF4112013 .243
Adam Everett, SS4011003 .245
Humberto Quintero, C3000001 .071
   a- Jose Vizcaino, PH1010000 .263
a-singled for Quintero in the 9th
2B - Adam Everett (17, T. Williams)
HR - Morgan Ensberg (15, Penn), Jason Lane (9, Penn)
RBI - Morgan Ensberg 2 (38), Jason Lane 2 (26), Adam Everett (24)
2-OUT RBI - Adam Everett (11)
SB - Mike Lamb (1, 2nd base off Penn/Fasano)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Biggio-Everett-Lamb
E - Morgan Ensberg (6, Wild throw), Willy Taveras (1, Misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe (L,6-4) 3.21077222 4.88
Chad Harville 1.1100200 5.40
John Franco 0.2211000 6.52
Mike Burns 1.1100210 8.10
Russ Springer 1000020 6.45
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 77-46, Chad Harville 23-9, John Franco 10-6, Mike Burns 32-15, Russ Springer 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 4-5, Chad Harville 3-1, John Franco 2-0
Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 23, Chad Harville 7, John Franco 4, Mike Burns 7, Russ Springer 3
Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts, 2B5120002 .362
Melvin Mora, 3B2111301 .305
Miguel Tejada, SS4110104 .324
Sammy Sosa, RF4122112 .257
Rafael Palmeiro, 1B5120004 .259
Jay Gibbons, DH5112003 .262
Larry Bigbie, LF4232110 .259
Sal Fasano, C5000033 .245
David Newhan, CF4021001 .202
2B - Brian Roberts (15, Burns), Melvin Mora (15, Backe), Sammy Sosa (8, Backe), Rafael Palmeiro (8, Backe), David Newhan (4, Backe)
HR - Jay Gibbons (10, Backe), Larry Bigbie (1, Backe)
RBI - Melvin Mora (43), Sammy Sosa 2 (23), Jay Gibbons 2 (34), Larry Bigbie 2 (11), David Newhan (12)
2-OUT RBI - Melvin Mora (23), Sammy Sosa 2 (9), Larry Bigbie (6), David Newhan (8)
SB - Larry Bigbie (2, 2nd base off Backe/Quintero)
Team LOB - 12
DP - Penn-Palmeiro
Baltimore Orioles
Hayden Penn (W,1-0) 5.2755212 4.71
Todd Williams (H,6) 1.1100100 4.13
Jorge Julio (H,9) 1000000 2.97
B.J. Ryan (S,17) 1100000 1.93
HBP - Ensberg (by Jorge Julio)
WP - Hayden Penn (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Hayden Penn 92-51, Todd Williams 16-8, Jorge Julio 14-9, B.J. Ryan 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hayden Penn 5-10, Todd Williams 4-0, B.J. Ryan 2-1
Batters Faced - Hayden Penn 25, Todd Williams 6, Jorge Julio 4, B.J. Ryan 4
Game Information
Attendance - 23297
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Rob Drake