Astros winning starts again

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2000

The Associated Press

The Houston Astros got things straightened out off the field, then got back to winning on it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2000

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The Houston Astros got things straightened out off the field, then got back to winning on it.

After a 25-minute pregame meeting before Tuesday night’s game, the Astros beat the Colorado Rockies 6-3.

The underachieving Astros’ frustration came to a head Sunday when rookie catcher Mitch Meluskey punched teammate Matt Mieske in the eye during batting practice before Houston’s loss in San Diego.

After winning the NL Central the last three seasons, Houston has the worst record in the majors.

”This isn’t the first time that members of the same team got into a fight. That in itself wasn’t alarming,” said general manager Gerry Hunsicker, who called the meeting. ”But the fact that it happened out in public, at that point it became a real embarrassment to the team and to the organization.”

The meeting was one of several for Astros this year, but the results were mostly disappointing until Tuesday.

Ken Caminiti homered and drove in three runs, and Shane Reynolds (6-3) won for the first time in six starts since May 10 for Houston.

Houston, which lost 12 of 13 on the road, built a 5-1 lead against Rolando Arrojo (4-5).

Reynolds gave up one run and eight hits in six innings, walked three and struck out five.

Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his sixth save in 13 chances.

”I believe we hit rock bottom,” Caminiti said. ”I really believe that. Rock bottom was San Diego. I think there was just a karma or an aura today that I haven’t felt in a long time.”

Manager Larry Dierker also got an inspirational phone call from the team chaplain, who reminded him that Tuesday was the one-year anniversary of his life-threatening seizure.

”He said he thought maybe we could look at this as a turning point and maybe we will get it going like we did last year when we won 90 games,” Dierker said. ”It was a call to lift me up.”

Tom Goodwin had three hits and stole two bases for the Rockies, who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Colorado also lost for the first time in nine games at Coors Field.

Cardinals 8, Padres 3

At San Diego, Darryl Kile became the majors’ third 10-game winner, thanks in part to Eli Marrero’s three-run homer, and St. Louis beat the Padres for the fifth straight time.

Kile (10-3) allowed three runs – two earned – and nine hits in seven innings. He already has two more wins than last year, when he was 8-13 in his second season in Colorado. Kile, who won his third straight start, struck out three and walked three.

Pirates 7, Braves 6, 10 innings

Wil Cordero led off the bottom of the 10th with his 10th homer as Pittsburgh rallied from a three-run ninth-inning deficit.

Cordero hit a 3-2 pitch from Don Wengert (0-1) into the left-field seats as Pittsburgh got its 16th come-from-behind win.

Pittsburgh tied the score 6-6 with three runs in the ninth against Mike Remlinger, who had been perfect in six save opportunities.

Andruw Jones hit his third homer in two days, and Brian Jordan added a two-run shot for Atlanta.

Kevin Young had three RBIs, giving him nine in two games against the Braves.

Phillies 4, Marlins 3

At Philadelphia, Scott Rolen’s two-run single broke a tie and Ron Gant homered and drove in two runs as the Phillies spoiled Chuck Smith’s major league debut.

Gant tied it with an RBI single off Joe Strong (0-1) before Rolen’s bases-loaded single against Armando Almanza provided the final margin.

Cubs 4, Mets 3

At Wrigley Field, Cubs pinch-runner Damon Buford scored the winner from second on a throwing error by shortstop Kurt Abbott in the eighth inning.

Felix Heredia (3-1) won with a perfect eighth, while Rick Aguilera got his 13th save in 17 opportunities.

John Franco (2-2) took the loss.

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 1

Eric Karros set a Los Angeles record with his 229th home run, and Chan Ho Park pitched a five-hitter at home.

Gary Sheffield hit a two-run homer, his 18th, and Park (8-4) threw his fifth complete game in 121 career starts and first of the season.

Arizona’s loss was its first in five meetings this season with the Dodgers.

Expos 9, Brewers 4

Vladimir Guerrero’s two-run single keyed a seven-run third inning for Montreal at Milwaukee. The game was delayed by rain for 2 hours, 12 minutes at the start.

The Expos jumped to an 8-0 lead after three innings against Steve Woodard (1-5). Jose Vidro had a two-run double in the third and a solo homer in the ninth.

Raul Casanova hit his first career grand slam in the eighth inning.