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Bagwell drives in two as Astros handle Brewers

9/24/2002

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

''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.