Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 8/30)

Game 1: Friday, August 29
San Diego7Final
Game 2: Saturday, August 30
San Diego6Final
Game 3: Sunday, August 31
San Diego3Final

Padres 6

(53-82, 25-44 away)

Astros 11

(71-64, 42-28 home)

    7:05 PM ET, August 30, 2003

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    SD 000100500 6 10 2
    HOU 04100204 - 11 11 0

    W: J. Fernandez (2-3)

    L: K. Jarvis (4-7)

    S: B. Wagner (37)

    Berkman smacks 23rd homer in victory

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Jared Fernandez took advantage of an unusually long break between starts.

    Fernandez allowed one run in six solid innings to break his three-game losing streak as the Houston Astros beat the San Diego Padres 11-6 Saturday night.

    "The extra time off really helped me," Fernandez said after being skipped in the rotation because of Monday's off day. "During that 10 days, Burt (pitching coach Hooton) worked with me a lot. We worked on my curve, my slider, my mechanics, where I get on the mound, everything. We talked about getting used to the major leagues.

    "At first, I thought taking that long off would be bad, but it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me."

    Fernandez (2-3) gave up five hits, striking out two and walking one.

    Lance Berkman and Morgan Ensberg homered, and the Astros used four pitchers in the Padres' five-run seventh inning but held on and maintained a first-place tie with St. Louis in the NL Central.

    Billy Wagner pitched 1 1-3 innings for his 36th save in 39 chances.

    Kevin Jarvis (4-7) lasted 5 1-3 innings and allowed seven runs on seven hits and three walks as he lost his fifth straight decision.

    "Baseball's a game that goes in cycles," Jarvis said. "I've got to ride this one out and hopefully it'll end soon."

    The Astros scored four in the second inning. Brad Ausmus hit an RBI single to make it 1-0. With the bases loaded one out later, Fernandez hit a dribbler to the mound that Jarvis tossed to home for one out.

    But catcher Miguel Ojeda's throw to first trying for the double play was wild for an error and Ensberg scored on the play. Craig Biggio and Jose Vizcaino followed with RBI singles for a 4-0 lead.

    After Berkman's homer in the third -- a leadoff shot for his 23rd of the season -- the Padres got on the board in the fourth on Ryan Klesko's RBI single.

    Berkman made two outstanding defensive plays to prevent extra-base hits in both the third and fourth innings. In the third, he made a leaping catch against the wall on a drive hit by Mark Loretta. Berkman then got the last out of the fourth with an almost identical leaping catch at the wall to rob Miguel Ojeda.

    In the sixth, Ensberg hit his 20th home run and Vizcaino added an RBI single for a 7-1 lead.

    Reliever Brad Lidge started the seventh and loaded the bases before allowing Ojeda to score on a wild pitch. Sean Burroughs followed with an RBI single.

    Lidge left without registering an out and Dan Miceli came on. Loretta singled in a run and, one out later, Phil Nevin hit an RBI single.

    Reliever Mike Gallo gave up a sacrifice fly to Klesko that made it 7-6. Octavio Dotel relieved and struck out pinch-hitter Brian Buchanan.

    In the eighth, Astros manager Jimy Williams was ejected for arguing a call at second base when Padres second baseman Mark Loretta dropped the ball trying to turn a double play. Second base umpire Angel Hernandez said Loretta held the ball long enough for the out but Williams disagreed and said the same thing happened to him against the Yankees in the 1999 ALCS when he managed the Boston Red Sox.

    "The man didn't have the ball," Williams said. "The third base umpire has to step up and do something. If he's a part of a team (of umpires), he has to help.

    "I'm going to have to pay a fine now, right? My kids needed some new shoes and they're not going to get them because of this."

    The Astros scored four in the eighth led by Richard Hidalgo's two-run single. The Padres used four pitchers in the eighth, including Jay Witasick and Mike Matthews -- who each walked in runs.

    "We just melted down there in the eighth," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "We got back in the game and we fought hard to do it. But we just had trouble throwing strikes in the eighth." ^Notes:@ Astros 2B Jeff Kent was out of the lineup for the third straight game to be with his wife in Austin after she delivered their fourth child Friday. Jose Vizcaino replaced him for the third straight game. ... Brian Giles extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the first. ... The Padres are 10-4 all-time at Minute Maid Park. ... Wagner got his first major league RBI and his first major league walk.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press