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Houston «000010001270

Bagwell's game-winning hit keeps Astros in wild-card lead

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Astros manager Phil Garner said when Jeff Bagwell returned after more than four months on the disabled list last week that he didn't want to rush Bagwell into any high-pressured situations while the veteran slugger was just getting his stroke back.

"I lied," Garner said Friday night.

Garner inserted Bagwell as a pinch-hitter with the score tied in the ninth inning, and Bagwell's run-scoring single lifted Houston over the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1.

"Let's just say I felt he was the man to go to," Garner said. "And he came through for us big."

Houston, which won its third straight game, remained a half-game ahead of Philadelphia in the NL wild-card race and moved 1½ games in front of Florida, which lost to the Phillies 11-3.

"You have to be a little nervous in that situation," Bagwell said. "It was a big moment, and it's a win we needed."

Mike Lamb and Lance Berkman led off the ninth by hitting consecutive singles off Dana Eveland (1-1). After Jason Lane struck out and Jose Vizcaino fouled out, Bagwell got a huge ovation from the crowd when he came up to pinch hit for Brad Lidge (4-3).

When he singled to right-center, scoring pinch-runner Willy Taveras, the crowd cheered even more.

"It gave me chills just to see him go out there," Lidge said. "We've all been pulling for him in his comeback, so to see him do that was great for everybody."

It was just Bagwell's third appearance since he returned Sept. 9 after recuperating from shoulder surgery in May.

"The crowd has always been great to me and I'm glad I was able to come through for them," he said.

Lidge relieved Roy Oswalt with men on second and third and one out in the eighth, then struck out Carlos Lee and Geoff Jenkins. Lidge faced five batters in all, striking out four.

Oswalt failed to get his 18th victory, allowing one run and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and one walk.

Rick Helling, trying to beat Houston for the second time in six days, gave up one run and four hits in seven innings, also striking out five and walking one.

Helling retired his first 11 batters before Lamb singled to right-center. Jason Lane led off the fifth with his 23rd homer, ending an 18-inning scoreless streak for Helling that included seven innings against Houston last Sunday.

"Those kind of games come down to one big hit," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "Helling and Oswalt both pitched outstanding, and then Lidge came in and did an awesome job. Dana battled to get two outs and then got a pitch up to Bagwell and that was it. It was a great game."

Lyle Overbay homered leading off the sixth for Milwaukee. He wasn't surprised by Bagwell's heroics.

"That was typical Bagwell," Overbay said. "You're never safe, even if he hasn't seen live pitching for two years or two months. He's going to give you a battle. The crowd got into it, and I think that pumped him up."

Notes

  • Houston RF Orlando Palmeiro started a sixth-inning double play, catching Bill Hall's fly to right-center on the run and turning and throwing to 2B Craig Biggio, who doubled up Jenkins at first.
  • Houston got its 14th last at-bat win.
  • Houston LF Luke Scott made his first start since bruising his hip when he ran into the left-field wall on Sept. 10.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Jeff Bagwell is mobbed at home plate after his pinch-hit single in the ninth.  (AP)
Jeff Bagwell is mobbed at home plate after his pinch-hit single in the ninth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

J. Bagwell
AB 1
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
Milwaukee

L. Overbay
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Milwaukee Brewers
Brady Clark, CF3010100 .304
Jeff Cirillo, 3B-2B4010011 .287
Lyle Overbay, 1B4121000 .275
Carlos Lee, LF4000023 .274
Geoff Jenkins, RF4020012 .289
Bill Hall, SS4010002 .281
Rickie Weeks, 2B4000022 .241
    Dana Eveland, P0000000 .000
Damian Miller, C4010010 .259
Rick Helling, P3000022 .000
    Matt Wise, P00000001.000
    Wes Helms, 3B0000000 .302
Totals341811912 
Batting
2B - Brady Clark (30, Oswalt), Lyle Overbay (30, Oswalt), Geoff Jenkins (38, Oswalt)
HR - Lyle Overbay (18, Oswalt)
RBI - Lyle Overbay (69)
Team LOB - 7
Milwaukee Brewers
Rick Helling 7411151 2.19
Matt Wise 1000020 3.26
Dana Eveland (L,1-1) 0.2311010 4.13
Pitches-Strikes - Rick Helling 105-72, Matt Wise 16-11, Dana Eveland 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rick Helling 7-9
Batters Faced - Rick Helling 26, Matt Wise 3, Dana Eveland 5
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B4010000 .266
Orlando Palmeiro, RF4000022 .286
Mike Lamb, 3B4020002 .233
    Willy Taveras, PR0100000 .290
Lance Berkman, 1B3010101 .292
Jason Lane, CF4111025 .256
Jose Vizcaino, SS4000012 .251
Luke Scott, LF3000010 .151
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
   a- Jeff Bagwell, PH1011000 .256
Brad Ausmus, C3000000 .262
Roy Oswalt, P2010010 .185
    Eric Bruntlett, LF1000010 .213
Totals332721812 
a-singled for Lidge in the 9th
Batting
HR - Jason Lane (23, Helling)
RBI - Jason Lane (70), Jeff Bagwell (16)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Bagwell (4)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Orlando Palmeiro 1
DP - Palmeiro-Biggio-Berkman
Houston Astros
Roy Oswalt 7.1811151 2.87
Brad Lidge (W,4-3) 1.2000040 2.17
Pitches-Strikes - Roy Oswalt 105-74, Brad Lidge 21-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roy Oswalt 12-4, Brad Lidge 1-0
Batters Faced - Roy Oswalt 30, Brad Lidge 5
Game Information
Attendance - 33767
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Paul Schrieber