Series: Game 1 of 3

Houston leads 1-0 (as of 4/1)

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

Rockies 4

(0-1, 0-1 away)

Astros 10

(1-0, 1-0 home)

    7:05 PM ET, April 1, 2003

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    COL 011000020 4 - -
    HOU 01611100 - 10 - -

    W: R. Oswalt (1-0)

    L: J. Jennings (0-1)

    Kent slugs homer in first at-bat with Astros

    HOUSTON (AP) --The Houston Astros wanted more offense. Jeff Kent and Jeff Bagwell gave it to them immediately.


    Kent hit a home run in his first at-bat for Houston and Bagwell homered twice as the Astros won their season opener Tuesday night, 10-4 over the Colorado Rockies.

    Kent, the 2000 NL MVP, helped lead the San Francisco Giants to the World Series last year. He signed an $18.2 million, two-year contract with the Astros in the offseason, joining Bagwell and Lance Berkman in the middle of a powerful lineup.

    ``With the welcome I received from the fans, I did not want to let them down,'' Kent said. ``As long as I've been in the game, I know enough that you don't get off to a bad start. So for all things that came together for me tonight, it means a lot.''

    Roy Oswalt pitched seven strong innings and the Astros roughed up NL Rookie of the Year Jason Jennings in their first home opener since their stadium was renamed Minute Maid Park.

    Kent finished 3-for-5 and scored twice. Bagwell hit a solo homer and a two-run shot, while Geoff Blum also homered and knocked in three runs.

    ``Kent had a fine game,'' manager Jimy Williams said. ``His first at-bat certainly has to make you feel great. Bagwell had a great game, too, to say the least.''

    The Astros piled up 14 hits, including six off Jennings in a six-run third inning.

    Bagwell's 27th career multihomer game made him the second player in franchise history to hit more than one home run in a season opener. Roman Mejias homered twice against the Chicago Cubs in 1962, the first game in franchise history.

    ``I've got a bunch of guys around me who can pick me up if I get down,'' Bagwell said. ``Jeff is a great hitter. He's proven it year after year. He brings you a .300 average, 100 RBI every year. That takes the pressure off to have a guy like him around.''

    Houston and Colorado were the last two NL teams to start their seasons.

    Oswalt, who went 19-9 last season with a 3.01 ERA, held the Rockies to four hits and two runs -- one earned.

    ``It seems the later in the game it goes, the more I feel comfortable,'' Oswalt said. ``Those late innings, you can almost close your eyes and throw. I kept telling myself, 'Don't try to do too much.' The thing guys do in the first game is try too hard and overthrow.''

    Jennings gave up eight runs and nine hits in four innings.

    ``It just kind of snowballed,'' he said. ``Mistakes are going to happen, but that many in an inning will kill you. I was making mistakes against the heart of their order and I just couldn't get that groundball to get out of the inning.''

    Kent homered over the right-field fence off Jennings in the second inning.

    Houston blew it open in the third with four straight hits -- singles by Oswalt and Craig Biggio, a two-run double by Blum and a two-run homer by Bagwell.

    An RBI double by Richard Hidalgo and a sacrifice fly by Brad Ausmus completed the big inning for a 7-2 lead.

    ``He just couldn't make any pitches when he had to,'' Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said of Jennings. ``The thing you don't worry about Jason is that he's not going to take it to heart. We know that he's ready to go back out there.''

    Biggio, an All-Star and Gold Glove winner at second base, played his first game of the season in center field. He agreed to move to make room for Kent.

    Preston Wilson doubled and scored on a second-inning single by Jose Hernandez for Colorado. The Rockies got two more runs in the eighth off Bruce Chen on an RBI triple by Larry Walker and a single by Wilson.

    A throwing error by Kent in the third inning allowed a run to score.

    Game notes

    Part of the pregame ceremony honored the seven astronauts who died aboard space shuttle Columbia on Feb. 1. Seven first pitches were thrown simultaneously by family and friends of the fallen astronauts. The Astros will wear a patch on their right sleeves throughout the season to honor the astronauts. ... Seven Rockies from the 2002 opening-day roster remain on the team. ... 2B Ron Belliard became the first non-roster invitee to spring training in Rockies history to start on opening day. ... The Rockies went 26-55 on the road last season and 47-34 at Coors Field.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press