<
>

Slumping Harang winless in last six starts

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Adam Everett and the Houston Astros kept
coming back against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Houston shortstop hit his second home run in two nights, and
the Astros came from behind three times Saturday in a 4-3 victory
over the Reds in the first game of a doubleheader.

Everett, who had two home runs in his career against the Reds
before hitting one Friday night, also scored twice.

With the Astros trailing 3-2, Jason Lane led off the seventh
inning with a double and moved to third on Everett's single. Chris
Burke's double tied it and moved Everett to third, and Everett
scored the go-ahead run one out later on pinch-hitter Orlando
Palmeiro's sacrifice fly to right-center field that Ken Griffey Jr.
dived to catch.

"We took advantage of our opportunities," manager Phil Garner
said. "That was a good at-bat by Palmeiro. The key was we didn't
let the tension build. We were able to come back after they
scored."

Palmeiro was hitting for Houston rookie starter Wandy Rodriguez
(4-3), who recorded back-to-back wins for the first time in his
career. The right-hander allowed three runs, five hits and five
walks with six strikeouts in six innings.

Mike Burns pitched two scoreless innings of relief, and Dan
Wheeler pitched the ninth for his second save in three tries this
season. He also got the save on Friday while closer Brad Lidge
remains day to day with a slight elbow problem.

Reds starter Aaron Harang (4-7) fell to 0-5 in his last six
starts. The right-hander, who recorded his last win by beating
Roger Clemens and the Astros 9-0 in Houston on May 30, allowed
eight hits and four runs in seven innings.

"I'm executing, and I'm happy with the way I'm throwing,"
Harang said. "There are just one or two spots in the game that are
getting me right now. I have to figure out how to get through
that."

Reds manager Jerry Narron did not think fatigue was the reason
Harang could not hold the lead.

"I don't know if he ran out of steam," Narron said. "They
strung together some hits, but ran out of steam? I don't think
so."

The doubleheader became necessary after Thursday's game was
suspended by rain after seven innings with the teams tied at 2. The
Reds have five losses and that tie in six games since winning at
Cleveland on June 24.

Rich Aurilia had four hits in his last 26 at-bats before lining
a 1-1 pitch 385 feet to left for his seventh homer of the season to
give the Reds a 1-0 lead with one out in the first.

Everett tied it with his seventh homer with two outs in the
second inning.

Wily Mo Pena, who led off the second with a double to extend his
career-high hitting streak to eight games, led off the fourth with
a 450-foot homer into the first row of the second deck in left
field. The homer was his 11th of the season and fourth of the year
into the second deck.

Houston again tied the score in the sixth when Willy Taveras
reached on a one-out bunt single, stole second as Craig Biggio was
striking out, and scored on Mike Lamb's soft single.

"That's what we needed -- timely hitting," Lamb said. "We've
been playing pretty good for a while now. That's important when you
have a young team."

The Reds took their third one-run lead in the sixth. Joe Randa
followed Griffey's leadoff bloop single to left field and
Rodriguez's balk with a double to the left-center field wall that
gave the Reds a 3-2 lead.

Game notes
Biggio's fourth-inning double was his 2,721st career hit,
tying him with Lou Gehrig for 51st on the career list. Roberto
Alomar is 50th with 2,724. ... Taveras' bunt single was his 16th of
the season, tying the club record set by Steve Finley in 1991. ...
Everett's homer was his second in two nights after he didn't hit
one in 97 at-bats since May 31, covering the entire month of June.
... Reds 1B Sean Casey celebrated his 31st birthday on Saturday.
... Rodriguez tied his career high with six strikeouts.