Series: Game 1 of 3

Houston leads 1-0 (as of 9/23)

Game 1: Monday, September 23
Milwaukee 6Final
Houston 8
Game 2: Tuesday, September 24
Milwaukee 3Final
Houston 1
Game 3: Wednesday, September 25
Milwaukee 5Final
Houston 7

Brewers 6

(54-102, 23-52 away)

Astros 8

(83-74, 46-33 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 23, 2002

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    MIL 000310020 6 - -
    HOU 11110400 - 8 - -

    W: B. Puffer (3-3)

    L: G. Rusch (10-15)

    S: B. Wagner (34)

    Bagwell drives in two as Astros handle Brewers

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Driving in 100 runs in a season has become almost routine for Jeff Bagwell -- until this season.

    Jeff Bagwell
    First Base
    Houston Astros
    152 30 97 91 7 .294

    ''The 100-RBI thing usually, when you are having a good year, it's not even a worry, but this has been a long haul,'' Bagwell said after he hit a two-run single and the Houston Astros beat the Milwaukee Brewers 8-6 Monday night.

    Bagwell needs to drive in three more runs to reach 100 RBI for the seventh consecutive season.

    ''This has been an incredible year, dealing with all the things mentally and physically. Things like my shoulder problems. It will be cool to have it, but if I don't get it, it's not going to make or break my year,'' Bagwell added. ''It's not going to mean that I had a bad year if I don't get 100.''

    Bagwell can count Milwaukee manager Jerry Royster as one of his admirers.

    ''What a great player. I've watched that guy battle early in the season from nowhere to where he is ready to do it again. He's in there every day. He plays so hard, you wish everyone in the league played that hard,'' Royster said.

    ''If our kids could have one role model, I would like for it to be him. I have nothing but respect for him,'' Royster added.

    Richie Sexson doubled home a run for Milwaukee, giving him 100 RBI for the third time in his career.

    Bagwell's key hit came during a four-run burst in the sixth inning as the Astros broke away from a 4-4 tie.

    Brandon Puffer (3-3) was the winner, pitching one scoreless inning. Billy Wagner worked the ninth for his 34th save in 40 chances.

    Glendon Rusch (10-15) gave up seven runs, only four of them earned, in five innings.

    It was 4-all when Jason Lane drew a leadoff walk in the sixth and Gregg Zaun had an infield single. Rusch's throwing error let Lane score, and reliever Mike Matthews later walked pinch-hitter Mike Matthews with the bases loaded. Bagwell's single capped the inning.

    Houston took a 1-0 lead in the first on Mark Loretta's home run.

    Lane homered in the second, and Jose Vizcaino hit a run-scoring single in the third to make it 3-0.

    Milwaukee tied it at 3 in the fourth on run-scoring singles by Jose Hernandez and Jim Rushford and an error by shortstop Adam Everett on Robert Machado's grounder.

    Houston took a 4-3 lead in the fifth when Zaun walked, moved to third on a single by Everett and scored on a groundout by Brian Hunter.

    The Brewers tied it at 4 in the fifth on Sexson's double.

    Milwaukee added two runs in the eighth on a run-scoring double by Hernandez and an RBI groundout by pinch hitter Lenny Harris.

    Game notes

    An MRI exam on the left shoulder of Houston's Carlos Hernandez disclosed an impingement in his left shoulder and rotator cuff tendinitis. Hernandez plans to get a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews. ... After defeating Milwaukee, Houston is 21-14 when facing left-handed starters. Only seven National League teams having winning records against lefties. ... Craig Biggio started in left field for the first time since Sept. 18, 1999. ... Milwaukee has hit just three home runs in its past 16 games ... Jose Hernandez went 2-for-3 and did not strike out, remaining one short of Bobby Bonds' single-season major league record of 189.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press