<
>

Bagwell, Kent lead Houston's hit parade

8/27/2003

HOUSTON (AP) -- Odalis Perez was puzzled by his performance. To
the Houston Astros, however, the whole game made sense.

"It was our night, plain and simple, the stars were aligned,"
Brad Ausmus said. "I guess we were just supposed to win this game
and score a lot of runs, but they still have a great pitching
staff."

The Astros came within one run of matching the highest-scoring
game in franchise history, roughing up Perez and routing the Los
Angeles Dodgers 18-4 Tuesday night.

Houston last scored 19 runs in 1999. Its previous top run total
this season was 13 on May 7 against Pittsburgh.

Jeff Kent homered and drove in five runs and Jeff Bagwell also
homered.

Kent, who went 3-for-4, and pinch-hitter Jason Lane each
delivered three-run doubles. Ausmus tripled and doubled, driving in
four runs and scoring three.

"We did a lot of things right and got a lot of big hits.
Everybody was swinging the bats really well," Craig Biggio said.
"We have a lot of confidence in our offensive personnel, but a
game like this is very unusual. You have five games a year like
this on both the good side and bad side."

Bagwell tried to put the game in perspective.

"People joke about saving runs for the next game, but you don't
really think like that. You have to take it for what it's worth,
end it, and move on. You don't expect to score 18 runs every night,
that's for sure," he said.

The Dodgers took a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Ron
Villone (6-2). After that, the Astros broke loose against Odalis
Perez (10-10) and the Los Angeles bullpen.

Perez had his four-game winning streak stopped, allowing 10 runs
and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings.

"I don't know what happened, everything was fine and I felt
good. It was like they knew what I was going to throw," Perez
said.

"It wasn't like I was making mistakes. They just hit it.
Inside, outside, up and down, they hit everything," he said. "I
was throwing everything I had and I had good location they were
just crushing my pitches."

Houston led 4-3 before scoring six times in the fifth inning,
highlighted by Kent's big double.

Lance Berkman drove in Kent with a single and, after a walk to
Ausmus, Adam Everett and Villone hit RBI singles that finished
Perez.

The Astros added five runs in the sixth, keyed by Lane's double.

Houston scored three in the seventh when Ausmus hit a two-run
double and came home on a throwing error by second baseman Alex
Cora.

David Ross hit his seventh home run of the season in the seventh
for the Dodgers.

Fred McGriff's 11th homer of the season and 489th of his career
capped the Dodgers' first.

Houston cut its deficit to 3-2 in the first on a two-run homer
by Kent. Ausmus tied it with an RBI double in the second and
Bagwell hit his 29th homer in the third.

Game notes
Bagwell needs three RBI to become the 58th player in major
league history to drive in 1,400 or more runs. Bagwell needs one
more homer to become the 13th player ever to hit 30 home runs in at
least eight consecutive seasons ... Adrian Beltre has driven in at
least one run in 10 of his last 20 starts for a total of 22 RBI.
... Kent hit his 19th home run, three shy of the team record for a
second baseman set by Biggio in 1995 and 1997.