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Houston at San Diego

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Houston «0000122117100
San Diego000100000182

Astros 7, Padres 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SAN DIEGO -- The stat of the night, besides Craig Biggio's two homers, was that the defending NL champion Houston Astros won consecutive games for the first time in nearly a month.

"That's a little crazy and sad at the same time," Biggio said after the Astros beat the punchless San Diego Padres 7-1 Wednesday night.

"We've got to keep grinding it out," said Biggio, whose Astros are third in the NL Central, 7½ games behind St. Louis. "To come back and play better tonight was nice. It's a good start to the road trip."

On Tuesday night, Andy Pettitte outdueled Jake Peavy in a 1-0 Houston win.

Biggio's second homer Wednesday, his 13th, came off Jon Adkins with one out in the ninth. Biggio and Mike Lamb hit back-to-back homers in the sixth off starter Woody Williams.

The Astros have won the first two of the three-game set to capture their first series since winning two of three against the Chicago Cubs from July 3-5. The wins against the Cubs on July 3-4 were the Astros' last consecutive victories, coming at the end of a four-game winning streak.

Brandon Backe threw 7 2/3 strong innings in his third start after a long stay on the disabled list with a sprained right elbow. Backe (2-1) held San Diego to one run and seven hits. He struck out three and walked two.

Backe knows that the Astros would have to go on a tear just to win the wild card.

"It's definitely doable," he said. "Nobody thinks it's impossible. This is a great start for us."

The Padres, who continue to cling to the NL West lead, have scored just two runs in their last 29 innings. They've lost three straight and nine of 14.

Todd Walker had a rough debut for the Padres, committing two throwing errors in his first start at third base since 1997, while with Minnesota. The second error by Walker -- who's played second base the bulk of his career -- came with two outs in the fifth and led to the Astros' first run.

"It's no fun to struggle and I feel sorry for Woody," Walker said. "He threw the ball fairly well tonight and it takes a lot to run out there when you haven't played there in a while. I expect a little more out of myself, but at the same time, it's a very, very difficult thing to do."

The Padres acquired Walker from the Cubs on Monday -- more for his bat than his glove. On his first chance, he charged Biggio's two-hopper but threw way wide of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Biggio stole second, but was stranded.

Walker and the Padres weren't as lucky the next inning.

Williams (4-3) had held the Astros hitless and retired 14 of the first 16 batters, including the first two in the fifth. Walker fielded Brad Ausmus' grounder and pulled Gonzalez off the bag with another wide throw. Backe followed with a sharp single to left and Willy Taveras singled up the middle to score Ausmus and make it 1-1.

"You can go out and really work and practice all you want. I felt great, I felt perfect in practice. When the bell rings, it's a different deal," said Walker, who has nine errors this season.

"I'm sure he was a little nervous," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's going to take a little time. I know it, we know it, and it's not that easy. He's worked hard the last couple of days, but any time you make a change in your position it takes a little time."

Williams got himself into trouble by opening the sixth with walks to Lamb and Morgan Ensberg. Both scored, Lamb on a double play and Ensberg on Adam Everett's single to center to make it 3-1.

Biggio and Lamb connected with two outs in the seventh. It was Lamb's ninth.

Bochy came out to get Williams and also took out Walker in a double switch.

The Astros made it 6-1 in the eighth when Luke Scott hit a leadoff double off Scott Williamson and scored on Preston Wilson's single.

Walker atoned for his first error by hitting a leadoff double in the fourth and scoring San Diego's only run on Khalil Greene's blooper to right-center.

"We're just missing the big hit to get the three or four runs that would make life a lot easier," Bochy said.

Williams allowed five runs, four earned, and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked three.

Notes

The Astros activated OF Orlando Palmeiro from the bereavement list and optioned INF Eric Bruntlett to Triple-A Round Rock. Palmeiro was placed on the bereavement list July 26, a day after his father died. ... Padres RHP Chan Ho Park is expected to have a transfusion on Thursday to treat intestinal bleeding that led him to lose half his blood volume. The bleeding spontaneously stopped but the Padres aren't sure what caused it. Park was placed on the disabled list on Sunday and is eligible to be activated on Aug. 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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Players of the Game
San Diego

D. Roberts
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Houston

C. Biggio
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 2
 
Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF5011000
Craig Biggio, 2B5222002
    Dave Borkowski, P0000000
Mike Lamb, 1B3211201
Morgan Ensberg, 3B4110112
Luke Scott, RF5120012
Preston Wilson, LF4011000
Adam Everett, SS4011011
Brad Ausmus, C3100101
Brandon Backe, P4010011
    Chad Qualls, P0000000
    Chris Burke, 2B0000000
Totals3771064410 
Batting
2B - Morgan Ensberg (, Adkins), Luke Scott (, Williamson)
HR - Craig Biggio 2 (, Williams, Adkins), Mike Lamb (, Williams)
RBI - Willy Taveras (), Craig Biggio 2 (), Mike Lamb (), Preston Wilson (), Adam Everett ()
2-OUT RBI - Willy Taveras (), Craig Biggio (), Mike Lamb (), Adam Everett ()
SB - Craig Biggio (, 2nd base off Williams/Piazza), Mike Lamb (, 2nd base off Williams/Piazza), Preston Wilson (, 2nd base off Williamson/Piazza)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Willy Taveras 1
DP - Borkowski-Everett-Lamb
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe (W,-) 7.2711230
Chad Qualls 0.1000010
Dave Borkowski 1100000
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Backe 101-65, Chad Qualls 7-4, Dave Borkowski 8-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Backe 7-12, Dave Borkowski 1-1
Batters Faced - Brandon Backe 31, Chad Qualls 1, Dave Borkowski 3
San Diego Padres
Dave Roberts, LF4020000
Mike Cameron, CF4010012
Brian Giles, RF4010002
Mike Piazza, C3000103
    Jon Adkins, P0000000
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B3000114
Todd Walker, 3B3110001
    Scott Williamson, P0000000
    Rob Bowen, C1010000
Khalil Greene, SS4011012
Josh Barfield, 2B4010000
Woody Williams, P2000002
    Mark Bellhorn, 3B1000010
Totals331812416 
Batting
2B - Todd Walker (, Backe), Josh Barfield (, Backe)
RBI - Khalil Greene ()
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Greene-Barfield-Gonzalez, Bellhorn-Gonzalez
E - Todd Walker 2 (, )
San Diego Padres
Woody Williams (L,-) 6.2654342
Scott Williamson 1.1211100
Jon Adkins 1211001
Pitches-Strikes - Woody Williams 108-70, Scott Williamson 18-7, Jon Adkins 21-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Woody Williams 8-9, Scott Williamson 2-1, Jon Adkins 2-1
Batters Faced - Woody Williams 30, Scott Williamson 6, Jon Adkins 5
Game Information
Attendance - 30757
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Dan Iassogna