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Bagwell Belts Way to 400

From Associated Press

Jeff Bagwell is just happy his milestone home run came in a victory.

Bagwell homered twice to become the 35th member of the 400-homer club and led the Houston Astros over the Cincinnati Reds, 6-3, Sunday at Cincinnati.

“I’m glad I got it over with,” Bagwell said. “More important, I’m just glad that we won. It just means that I’ve played a long time.”

Bagwell, in his 13th season, drove in Houston’s first four runs to help send the National League Central-leading Astros to their 10th consecutive victory over the Reds. The Astros completed their eighth series sweep this season.

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The Reds have lost seven in a row at home and dropped into fifth place in the division.

Bagwell connected against Danny Graves (4-10) in the fourth and sixth innings. Bagwell moved past Dale Murphy (398) and Al Kaline (399) on the career list. Duke Snider is 34th with 407.

“In his first at-bat, I threw him a slider that he was out in front on,” Graves said. “The two homers were fastballs up. I wasn’t trying to throw them up, but he’s a low-ball hitter. He always kills my sinker.”

Jeff Kent hit a homer in the ninth for Houston, his 12th this season and first since June 18, the day before he was sidelined because of tendinitis in his left wrist. He was activated after the All-Star game.

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San Francisco 8, Colorado 4 -- Alberto Castillo hit a grand slam for his first homer in two years, helping the host Giants complete a four-game sweep.

Rookie Jesse Foppert (6-8), recalled before the game, matched his career high with 10 strikeouts in six-plus innings. He gave up four runs and three hits.

Rich Aurilia matched his career high with four hits for the NL West-leading Giants, who have won nine of 12.

Left-hander Denny Neagle’s nagging elbow injury flared up, forcing him out after four innings.

Atlanta 11, New York 8 -- Pinch-hitter Javy Lopez’s three-run homer keyed an eight-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Braves finished a four-game sweep.

The Braves, who earned their first four-game sweep of the Mets since moving to Atlanta in 1966, are 13-1 since July 3.

Darren Bragg’s RBI single preceded Lopez’s home run, and Mark DeRosa and Marcus Giles had singles that accounted for the tying and go-ahead runs, respectively.

Chicago 16, Florida 2 -- Dontrelle Willis failed to retire a batter after a 67-minute rain delay in the bottom of the second inning at Miami, and the Cubs ended the rookie’s eight-game win streak.

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Chicago chased Willis (9-2) with six consecutive hits and a walk in the third. He was charged with six runs in the worst outing of his brief career, inflating his earned-run average from 2.08 to 2.67.

Pittsburgh 6, Milwaukee 3 -- Kip Wells won at home for the first time in more than a year and Aramis Ramirez homered despite a sore ankle.

Wells (4-4), winning his second consecutive start after going winless for six weeks, gave up an unearned run and struck out a career-high nine in seven innings.

Philadelphia 3, Montreal 2 -- Brett Myers struck out 10 and came within one out of a shutout, and Bobby Abreu drove in two runs to lift the host Phillies.

Myers (10-6) had given up five hits through eight innings, but Orlando Cabrera singled to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. Two outs later, Brad Wilkerson connected for his 11th homer.


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