Series: Game 2 of 3

Houston leads 2-0 (as of 4/2)

Game 1: Tuesday, April 1
Game 2: Wednesday, April 2
Game 3: Thursday, April 3

Rockies 7

(0-2, 0-2 away)

Astros 8

(2-0, 2-0 home)

    8:05 PM ET, April 2, 2003

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    COL 030310000 7 - -
    HOU 020100005 8 - -

    W: B. Wagner (1-0)

    L: J. Jimenez (0-1)

    Astros rally from four down in ninth

    HOUSTON (AP) -- The Astros hadn't done this in 11 years.

    Not since April 9, 1992, had Houston trailed by four runs in the ninth inning and come back to win.

    Craig Biggio
    Center Field
    Houston Astros
    145 15 58 96 16 .253

    That's what happened Wednesday night, when Craig Biggio's two-run single capped a five-run ninth inning in an 8-7 win over the Colorado Rockies.

    "When you're down by four with their closer on the mound, you don't expect to win,'' Biggio said. "But those guys ahead of me did their jobs and you never give up. We gave ourselves an opportunity to win and we'll sure take it.''

    The last time this happened was at the Astrodome, when Houston overcame a 5-1, ninth-inning deficit against Cincinnati and won 6-5 in 13 innings.

    This also was the first time Colorado, which began play in 1993, ever lost on the road after leading by four runs in the ninth inning. The Rockies have lost twice at Coors Field after leading by four runs in the ninth.

    Jose Jimenez (0-1) replaced Todd Jones with a 7-3 lead and gave up six hits while retiring just one batter. Jimenez waved off interview requests after the game.

    "It's a lonely feeling for him right now,'' Jones said. "But you know if we're going to do anything this year, we're going to have to rely on him. It's just tough for him right now but those are the ups and downs of being a closer.''

    Houston's rally began when Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman and Jeff Kent loaded the bases with singles, and Richard Hidalgo hit a two-run single.

    "He just got the ball up over the plate and they put the barrel on it,'' Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "The first three balls were hit on the ground.''

    After Brad Ausmus bunted into a forceout at third, Orlando Merced pinch hit for Billy Wagner (1-0) and had an RBI double that made it 7-6. Jose Vizcaino was intentionally walked, and Biggio singled to left.

    "It is just one game, but it shows what we are capable of doing,'' Bagwell said. "We can build on that. It helps your confidence because you know that you did something like that before.''

    Houston, which outhit the Rockies 14-13, won despite stranding 13 runners, and Colorado left 11. Bagwell had three hits and Biggio drove in three runs.

    With Colorado ahead 3-2 and the bases loaded following walks to Ronnie Belliard and Jay Payton, Todd Helton singled to shallow right field. Chris Stynes scored on the hit off Wade Miller, and the ball rolled by Hidalgo for a two-run error that gave the Rockies a 6-2 lead.

    "The first four innings were like two drunks fighting early in the morning,'' Hurdle said. "It took a long time to play, there were a lot of body blows, and it wasn't pretty.''

    A throwing error by Colorado catcher Charles Johnson cut the gap to 6-3 in the fourth, but Belliard had an RBI single in the fifth off Pete Munro.

    Rockies starter Aaron Cook gave up three runs -- two earned -- eight hits and four walks in four innings. Miller, who stayed in after he was hit by Chris Stynes' comebacker in the second, allowed five runs and seven hits in 3 1-3 innings.

    Colorado took a 3-0 lead in the second on RBI singles by Cook, Belliard and Jay Payton. Todd Helton followed with another single, but Hidalgo threw out Belliard at the plate.

    Game notes

    Ausmus, Houston's catcher, received his second straight Gold Glove award prior to the game. ... After two opening-night homers, Bagwell is tied with Frank Howard for 43rd place on the home run list with 382. ... Nelson Cruz is to start Thursday against his old teammates. "Yesterday, I was running in the outfield and some people were saying stuff like, `We miss you,''' Cruz said. "At least they haven't forgotten me.'' ... Rockies RHP Scott Elarton will begin a rehabilitation assignment Friday at Triple-A Colorado Springs, continuing his recovery from shoulder surgery.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press