Series: Game 3 of 3

Houston won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, September 9
Colorado 5Final
in 10
Houston 6
Game 2: Tuesday, September 10
Colorado 4Final
Houston 11
Game 3: Wednesday, September 11
Colorado 8Final
Houston 6

Rockies 8

(66-80, 25-50 away)

Astros 6

(78-68, 43-31 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 11, 2002

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    COL 000150200 8 - -
    HOU 001002021 6 - -

    W: A. Cook (2-1)

    L: K. Saarloos (6-5)

    S: J. Jimenez (38)

    Houston falls further behind St. Louis

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Two homers and five RBI from Jeff Bagwell weren't enough to keep Colorado from damaging Houston's postseason hopes.

    Jeff Bagwell
    First Base
    Houston Astros
    141 30 94 88 6 .293

    Rookie Aaron Cook won his second consecutive start, allowing seven hits in six innings Wednesday night as the Colorado Rockies beat the Astros 8-6.

    Houston, which has 16 games remaining, dropped 6 games behind NL Central-leading St. Louis. The Astros begin a four-game series at home against the Cardinals on Thursday night.

    ''We've put ourselves in a tough situation, but we have played pretty good baseball the last two months,'' Bagwell said. ''We can't think sweep against the Cardinals. We just have the think about winning the first game.''

    Bagwell reached 30 homers for the seventh consecutive season and the eighth time in nine years. Bagwell, who also homered Tuesday, has three multihomer games this year and 26 in his career. It was his third five-RBI game this season.

    ''As far as I'm concerned I didn't accomplish anything,'' Bagwell said. ''I'm just trying to help win some games and make things interesting in the last week.''

    Houston's Brad Ausmus agrees with Bagwell's analysis of Houston's position in the race.

    ''We can't afford to lose much, whether its to the Cardinals or anyone else. We are 6 1/2 back with 16 to go. That's not insurmountable, but it's not an easy task,'' Ausmus said.

    Kirk Saarloos (6-5) gave up six runs -- five earned -- seven hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. The Astros had won their previous seven home games against the Rockies.

    ''I felt good until the fifth,'' Saarloos said. ''I just kept leaving the ball higher and higher in the zone and when that happens you get hit.''

    Cook (2-1), making his fourth major league start, allowed three runs, struck out four and walked one. He also had a run-scoring single in the fifth inning for his first major league hit and RBI as the Rockies damaged the Astros' playoff chances.

    ''That is our job right now. To play the spoiler and try to get as many wins as we can. Anytime you get a win it's good but this makes it even a little better,'' Cook said.

    Bagwell put Houston ahead with an RBI single in the third, but Todd Zeile tied it with a run-scoring single in the fourth.

    Colorado broke open the game in the fifth on RBI singles by Jose Uribe and Cook, Juan Pierre's run-scoring groundout, Gabe Kapler's RBI single and a run-scoring throwing error by catcher Brad Ausmus.

    Bagwell hit two-run homers in the sixth and eighth innings, sandwiched around a two-run homer by Todd Helton.

    Game notes

    Jay Payton left in the third inning after straining a ribcage muscle trying to catch a fly ball by Brian Hunter. ... Helton is batting .469 (15-for-32) with six home runs and 12 RBI at Minute Maid Park this season ... Lance Berkman tied his career high with four hits for the seventh time Wednesday night ... Bagwell has 379 career home runs, tying him with Tony Perez for 46th on the all-time homer list.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press