|Biggio hits grand slam after announcing plans to retire|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 24 July 2007 21:48|
Biggio capped a six-run sixth inning with a tiebreaking grand slam and the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-4 on Tuesday night in Houston.
``Emotionally, it was a tough day,'' Biggio said. ``To have this happen is amazing. I still think I'm going to die early with all that has happened this season.
``I didn't even feel like I was touching the bases as I ran around them. It was just magical. It was a special, special night.''
Biggio, a 20-year veteran who reached 3,000 hits on June 28, connected off Rudy Seanez (6-2) for his fourth career slam and second of the season. He also hit a slam at Milwaukee on April 20.
Biggio was given a standing ovation before he came to the plate leading off the bottom of the first inning. The applause went on for nearly 2 minutes before Biggio backed out of the batter's box and took his helmet off to acknowledge the fans.
``It was about as exciting as it could get,'' manager Phil Garner said. ``It was vintage Biggio. This year has been a lot of fun with him. He has been the most relaxed I've ever seen him. Even when he got five hits away from 3,000, he was relaxed.''
Biggio also singled in the fifth and went 2-for-5. With 3,016 hits, he moved within four of Rafael Palmeiro for 23rd place.
``It was typical Biggio,'' said the Dodgers' Luis Gonzalez, a former teammate of Biggio's. ``It was kind of meant to be for him today.''
In other NL games, it was Atlanta 7, San Francisco 5 in 13 innings; Milwaukee 5, Cincinnati 3; Philadelphia 4, Washington 3; the New York Mets 8, Pittsburgh 4; the Chicago Cubs 4, St. Louis 3; San Diego 5, Colorado 3; and Arizona 9, Florida 3.
Houston starter Jason Jennings (2-6), who had lost his previous five starts, allowed three runs and three hits in six innings to win for the first time since June 19 at the Los Angeles Angels.
Jennings had been on the longest losing streak of his big league career and had just one win in his previous seven starts against the Dodgers.
``I'm making good strides,'' he said. ``I gave up three runs early, but I kept us close. I pitched a lot better after the runs were given up and I gave the offense a chance.''
Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for his fourth save - all since he came off the disabled list July 12.
Mark Hendrickson, making his first start against Houston, gave up three runs and six hits in five-plus innings. The Dodgers have lost five of their last eight.
But all that was an afterthought on a day that belonged to Biggio.
``All the things he does on the field and off the field, he's been first-class his entire career,'' Gonzalez said. ``It was only fitting that he hit a grand slam tonight. I just wish it hadn't been against us.''
Added Dodgers manager Grady Little: ``It was a special day for him. I have a lot of respect for what he's accomplished. He's made the difference in a lot of games throughout his career and he made the difference tonight.''
Braves 7, Giants 5, 13 innings
At San Francisco, Edgar Renteria lined a go-ahead, two-run double off Jonathan Sanchez (1-2) with two outs in the 13th inning in a game that lasted 4 hours, 8 minutes.
Barry Bonds went 1-for-5 with two called strikeouts and remained at 753 home runs, two from tying the record held by Hank Aaron.
Peter Moylan (4-1) pitched the 11th and 12th for the win. Tyler Yates got two outs for his second save, allowing Pedro Feliz's broken-bat single that drove in a run.
Brewers 5, Reds 3
At Cincinnati, Yovani Gallardo (3-1) pitched out of a bases-loaded threat in the first inning, then shut down a free-swinging lineup that leads the majors in homers.
He also had a run-scoring single off Matt Belisle (5-7), who failed to make it out of the fourth inning. Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 35 chances.
Phillies 4, Nationals 3
At Philadelphia, Aaron Rowand's solo homer in the eighth inning off Luis Ayala (0-2) sent the Phillies to their fourth straight win.
Ryan Madson (2-2) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings for the win, and Antonio Alfonseca worked the ninth for his eighth save in 11 chances.
Mets 8, Pirates 4
At New York, John Maine (11-5) hit a two-run homer, the first of his career, and struck out seven to win for the first time since the All-Star break.
Ian Snell (7-8) lasted only four innings, giving up six runs and 10 hits.
Cubs 4, Cardinals 3
At St. Louis, Carlos Zambrano won his NL-leading 13th game and Aramis Ramirez's third single of the game snapped a seventh-inning tie for Chicago.
Zambrano (13-7) threw 117 pitches in 6 1-3 innings and the Cardinals ended his scoreless streak at 20 1-3 innings over three games on Skip Schumaker's two-run triple in the fifth. But it was still enough to beat Kip Wells (4-13), who regained the major league lead in losses.
Padres 5, Rockies 3
At Denver, Adrian Gonzalez doubled home the go-ahead run in the eighth, and the Padres snapped a four-game skid while making a winner of reliever Heath Bell (4-2).
Trevor Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth for his 28th save in 30 chances.
Ramon Ramirez (2-2) gave up a double to Michael Barrett and a single to Milton Bradley with one out in the eighth. Jeremy Affeldt allowed a run-scoring double to Gonzalez, and Khalil Greene added a sacrifice fly off Jorge Julio.
Diamondbacks 9, Marlins 3
At Phoenix, Livan Hernandez (6-6) won for the first time in 10 starts and the Diamondbacks won for the fourth time in a row.
Orlando Hudson's disputed home run ignited a four-run fourth inning against Florida starter Sergio Mitre (4-5), who lasted just three-plus innings.