Astros 2, Dodgers 1 (10 innings)

HOUSTON -- For once the Astros' Rafael Ramirez didn't get a hit in Houston's last at-bat to defeat Los Angeles. This time it was Craig Biggio.

Biggio singled home Gerald Young from second base with one out in the 10th inning Sunday, lifting the Houston Astros to their seventh straight victory, 2-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Young had walked with one out off Kevin Gross, 6-7, and took second on Steve Finley's single. Biggio singled to right, making a winner of Al Osuna, 7-3.

'There's never any trouble getting up for these guys,' Biggio said. 'It's a great feeling to be able to put together a winning streak, especially against some of the top teams.

The Dodgers, who have lost 12 of 14 on the road since the All-Star break, stranded only one runner - in the first inning - and did not have a runner after the sixth inning. They lost all three games in Houston in the Astros' final at-bat. Ramirez had game-winning pinch-hits in the first two contests.


'We're starting to get some breaks and the last seven games, we've been able to take advantage of some of them,' said Biggio. 'I was 0- for-20 or something against Gross with nine or 10 punch-outs, and I was able to catch up with him today.'

Los Angeles Manager Tommy Lasorda was puzzled by his first-placed team's struggles on the road.

'Up until the last road trip we were a pretty good road team,' said a disgruntled Lasorda. 'I couldn't explain why we played well on the road then and I can't explain why we're playing poorly now.'

Dodger centerfielder Brett Butler feels that thesweep might be just the motivating factor the Dodgers need.

'We don't deserve to win the way we're playing,' Butler said. 'It's not one guy, it's the whole team. Maybe getting beat three times by the last place team will give us a little kick in the tail.'

Osuna pitched two perfect innings, striking out three, including Dodger slugger Darryl Strawberry.

'When we played L.A. back in May, and I struck him (Strawberry) out, my father told me that he said (in the paper) I didn't throw him anything he couldn't handle,' Osuna said. 'So every time I face him, he's going to see everything I've got.'


Dodgers starter Tim Belcher, who has three losses and three no decisions since his last victory June 23, allowed four hits over eight innings, walked four and struck out seven.

Jim Deshaies allowed five hits over seven innings while walking one and striking out five.

With two out in the fourth, Strawberry launched a 3-2 pitch over the right-field fence for his 15th home run of the season - and sixth against the Astros.

Houston escaped a jam in the fifth by turning its second triple play of the season. Mike Sharperson singled and moved to second on a hit by Stan Javier. Alfredo Griffin lifted a fly ball into foul territory in shallow right field. Mike Simms caught the ball and threw to third where Ken Caminiti tagged a sliding Sharperson.

Caminiti then threw to shortstop Andujar Cedeno, who nailed Javier sliding into second. The Astros turned their first triple play April 15, at Atlanta.

'I had a real good feeling after we turned the triple play, that this might be our day,' said Houston Manager Art Howe. 'We got hits at some key times and our pitching was fantastic and we needed it because Belcher was tough today.'


Houston tied the score in the seventh. Casey Candaele doubled with two out and scored on pinch-hitter Jose Tolentino's single.

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