for this game

Biggio's blast buoys Astros past Mariners

Jun 17, 2007 - 2:59 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Craig Biggio blasted a three-run home run in the second inning as the Houston Astros defeated the Seattle Mariners, 9-4, on Saturday.

Biggio, who has nine hits in his last five games, is now 11 shy of the 3,000-hit plateau.

The blast gave Houston a 5-1 lead, and after a brief Seattle rally, Morgan Ensberg's two-run homer in the eighth salted the game.

"I'm just glad I'm swinging the bat better in general," said Biggio, who is 9-for-21 (.429) on the five-game homestand to raise his average to .237. "I had a frustrating two weeks. Just like you can have a bad two weeks, you can have a good two weeks."

That proved to be enough offense for Houston starter Woody Williams (3-9), who entered Saturday's game trying to avoid his second three-game losing streak of the season.

The 40-year-old righthander labored through 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out four.

"I thought (Williams) was making good locations with the first strikes," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "He didn't throw a breaking ball until he got to (Richie) Sexson in the second inning. Early in the game he established the fastball and then went to his other pitches. And he got outs with them, too."

Williams shook off a scary moment in the third inning, when Yuniesky Betancourt's liner up the middle hit the outside of his leg.

"I got a little sloppy once I got hit," Williams said. "It tightened up a bit and altered my control just a hair."

Astros relievers Trever Miller and Dave Borkowski survived some anxious moments in the seventh, before Chad Qualls and Brian Moehler worked quiet eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

Houston scored twice in the first as rookie Hunter Pence, who tripled to deep center to plate Biggio, came around to score on Carlos Lee's single.

After Seattle scratched out a run on Ichiro Suzuki's RBI single in the top of the third, Houston responded with an RBI single by Brad Ausmus in the bottom of the frame.

Mark Loretta's second double of the game - this time in the fourth - scored Lance Berkman to give the Astros a 7-1 advantage.

Mike Lamb continued his torrid hitting with a pair of hits. He had four hits, including a home run and a double, and drove in three runs on Friday. Lamb went 3-for-5 with two RBIs on Thursday, raising his batting average 51 points to .299 in his last three games.

Lamb was recently dropped to the seven-hole in the batting order by Garner.

"I just felt that was where (Lamb) was going to fit," Garner said. "The other guys were swinging the bats better. If he is swinging the bat in that hole, he can do some damage down there."

Lamb and eighth-place hitter Brad Ausmus combined to go 5-for-7.

"I think what you're seeing is the bottom of the order is becoming more involved," Ausmus said. "If you get the bottom of the lineup to contribute, and guys like Carlos and Lance (Berkman) do what they do, instead of scoring three or four runs, you score seven or eight."

Seattle's Cha Seung Baek (3-3) was bounced around in his second consecutive start. The South Korean righthander allowed seven runs on nine hits in four innings.

"They're pretty aggressive," said Baek, while still lamenting the hanging curveball that led to Biggio's home run. "I tried to keep the ball down, but everything was up."

In his last start, Baek surrendered five runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings in Monday's win at Cleveland but did not figure in that decision.

The Mariners, who dropped their fourth straight game after a season-high five-game winning streak, made a modest rally in the middle innings.

Seattle scored a pair in the fifth on Betancourt's two-run base hit, but he was thrown out trying to extend his single into a double.

Jose Guillen had a solo blast to lead off the sixth.

An inning later, the Mariners loaded the bases with two outs, but Borkowski got Guillen to fly out on a 3-2 pitch.

"We couldn't close it out," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. "I felt like if we could stop them, once they got what they got, we'd have a chance to come back."

"We've had two tough road trips in the last month," said Sexson, who was 0-for-4. "It's been a long time that we've been on the road. Some guys might be feeling it at this point. We've all dealt with it at some point where we've had long stretches like this. You just have to deal with it."








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 4 10 2
    HOUSTON 2 3 1 1 0 0 0 2 x 9 13 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SEA - CHA SEUNG BAEK, RYAN FEIERABEND (5TH), ERIC O'FLAHERTY (7TH),
    JASON DAVIS (8TH) AND KENJI JOHJIMA
    HOU - WOODY WILLIAMS, TREVER MILLER (7TH), DAVE
    BORKOWSKI (

    Jun 16 9:57 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MORGAN ENSBERG (7) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF JASON DAVIS SCORED BRAD AUSMUS.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4, HOUSTON 9
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C BIGGIO (.238, 1-FOR-4, HR, 3 RBI)

    Mariners vs. AstrosJun 16 9:29 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOSE GUILLEN (9) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF WOODY WILLIAMS.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4, HOUSTON 7
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: R IBANEZ (.283, 0-FOR-2)

    Mariners vs. AstrosJun 16 8:45 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YUNIESKY BETANCOURT SCORED KENJI JOHJIMA AND JOSE
    LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    HOUSTON 7 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: C BAEK (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners vs. AstrosJun 16 8:22 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MARK LORETTA SCORED LANCE BERKMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LORETTA ON SECOND, C LEE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 1
    HOUSTON 7 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L SCOTT (.251, 0-FOR-2)

    Mariners vs. AstrosJun 16 8:15 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRAD AUSMUS SCORED MARK LORETTA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B AUSMUS ON FIRST, M LAMB ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 1
    HOUSTON 6 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: W WILLIAMS (.138, 0-FOR-0, SAC)

    Mariners vs. AstrosJun 16 7:55 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ICHIRO SUZUKI SCORED YUNIESKY BETANCOURT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, I SUZUKI ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 1
    HOUSTON 5 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J VIDRO (.289, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners vs. AstrosJun 16 7:46 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY CRAIG BIGGIO (5) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF CHA SEUNG BAEK SCORED MIKE LAMB AND BRAD AUSMUS.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0, HOUSTON 5
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: H PENCE (.341, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Mariners vs. AstrosJun 16 7:32 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS LEE SCORED HUNTER PENCE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C LEE ON FIRST, L BERKMAN ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LORETTA (.308, 1 HR, 15 RBI)

    Mariners vs. AstrosJun 16 7:15 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED CRAIG BIGGIO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 0
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: L BERKMAN (.254, 8 HR, 37 RBI)

    Mariners vs. AstrosJun 16 7:12 PM