Bagwell homers; just four away from 400


HOUSTON (AP) -- Jeff Bagwell homered and Wade Miller pitched six
solid innings as the Houston Astros beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2
Friday night for their fifth straight victory.

Adam Everett, Craig Biggio and Morgan Ensberg also drove in runs
for the NL Central-leading Astros.

Pirates first baseman Randall Simon served the second game of a
three-game suspension for hitting one of the Milwaukee Brewers'
sausage mascots with his bat Wednesday. Simon was also fined $2,000
by major league baseball Friday.

Miller (6-9) managed to beat Jeff D'Amico and the Pirates for
the first time this season. Miller allowed one run on four hits and
a walk, striking out five. He had been 0-2 in matchups with D'Amico
this year.

Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless seventh for Houston and Octavio
Dotel gave up a solo homer to Abraham Nunez in the eighth. Billy
Wagner worked a perfect ninth for his 24th save in 27 chances.

D'Amico (6-9) went 5 2-3 innings, giving up four runs and nine
hits. He walked none and struck out two. D'Amico beat Miller and
the Astros on May 14 and last Sunday.

Bagwell hit his 16th home run of the season in the first inning
and the 396th of his career, tying him for 37th on the all-time
list with Joe Carter and Frank Thomas.

The Pirates tied it at 1 in the fourth on Carlos Rivera's
sacrifice fly to right.

Everett had an RBI double and Biggio an RBI single in the fifth.
Ensberg's single to left drove in Richard Hidalgo in the sixth for
a 4-1 lead.

Nunez hit his first home run of the season in the eighth

Game notes
Pittsburgh's Matt Stairs left in the fifth inning with a
strained right groin. He is day-to-day. ... Pirates catcher Jason
Kendall stretched his hitting streak to 16 games, tying a career
high and currently tops in the majors. ... Houston's Geoff Blum
extended his career-high hitting streak to 13 games ... RF Hidalgo
nailed Kenny Lofton trying to stretch a single to a double with a
strong throw to second base in the fourth inning for his 11th
assist, second-best in the majors.