Brewers cool off Astros with 4-3, 10-inning victory

Friday, September 7, 2001

HOUSTON -- Mark Loretta singled home the go-ahead run off Billy Wagner in the 10th inning, rallying the Milwaukee Brewers to a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday night.

The loss dropped Houston's NL Central lead to 4 1/2 games over idle Chicago. The Astros have won eight of their last 11 games and have a 24-10 record since Aug. 1.

Lou Collier, who homered in the first inning, doubled with two out off Wagner (2-5). Loretta then lined a single to left field.

Chad Fox (4-2) pitched the ninth for the victory. Curtis Leskanic worked the 10th for his 16th save in 22 chances.

Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, the Astros tied it on a single by Lance Berkman off Ray King. Craig Biggio led off the inning with a single.

Shane Reynolds, making his second start since coming off the disabled list on Saturday with a lower back strain, allowed a home run to Collier to start the game.

Reynolds followed by hitting Loretta with a pitch. An RBI grounder by Richie Sexson and a double by Jose Hernandez made it 3-0.

After Hernandez's RBI hit, Reynolds retired 13 of the next 14 batters.

Reynolds pitched seven innings and allowed six hits. He tied a season high with eight strikeouts.

Craig Biggio led off the third with a triple against Rocky Coppinger and scored on Julio Lugo's single. Coppinger escaped without further damage despite a wild pitch and a walk to Berkman.

Jeff Bagwell and Moises Alou flied out and Richard Hidalgo struck out to end the inning.

PHILLIES 3, EXPOS 0

MONTREAL -- Robert Person and a pair of relievers combined on a four-hitter as Philadelphia stopped their four-game losing streak, beating Montreal.

Bobby Abreu hit a two-run homer as the Phillies pulled within 2 1/2 games of idle Atlanta in the NL East.

Person (14-7) gave up three hits in 7 1-3 innings to win his fifth straight decision. He struck out five and walked three.

Ricky Bottalico relieved Person after a one-out walk to Brad Wilkerson in the eighth.

Jose Mesa pitched the ninth for his 36th save in 39 chances.

The game drew only 3,406 fans, the second-lowest total ever at Olympic Stadium. The smallest crowd was 2,803 for a game against St. Louis on Sept. 27, 1984.

Abreu hit his team-leading 27th homer off Carl Pavano (0-4) in the first.

METS 5, MARLINS 2

MIAMI -- Kevin Appier scattered nine hits and had an RBI single as surging New York beat Florida for its fourth straight victory.

Appier (8-10) allowed two runs in 6 1-3 innings to pull the Mets within seven games of the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves. He struck out four and walked one.

Armando Benitez got four outs for his 37th save in 39 opportunities as New York won for the 15th time in 19 games.

Brad Penny (7-9), who last won June 26 at Montreal, has lost eight straight decisions.

REDS 8, PIRATES 6

PITTSBURGH -- Ken Griffey Jr. hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the seventh inning and Cincinnati overcame a five-run deficit to beat Pittsburgh.

Cincinnati kept the Pirates from winning their fourth consecutive game, which would have matched their season-best streak.

Jim Brower (7-9) earned the win with three innings of one-hit relief. Danny Graves pitched the ninth for his 25th save.

-- From wire reports

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