Tag: 2004

2004 – Roger Clemens becomes the majors’ first ten-game winner by nipping the Pirates, 3-2, but the buzz is about a three-way trade with Kansas City and Oakland that brings All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran to Houston for closer Octavio Dotel, minor league catcher John Buck and cash. The Astros greet Beltran in fourth place in the Central Division, just four games over .500 and five games behind St. Louis in the standings. 

2004 – Roger Clemens becomes the majors’ first ten-game winner by nipping the Pirates, 3-2, but the buzz is about a three-way trade with Kansas City and Oakland that brings All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran to Houston for closer Octavio Dotel, minor league catcher John Buck and cash. The Astros greet Beltran in fourth place in the Central Division, just four games over .500 and five games behind St. Louis in the standings. 

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2004 – Craig Biggio spanks a leadoff single for his 2,500th career hit.  He celebrates by launching solo homers in his next two at bats. But he strikes out in a key ninth-inning situation and the bullpen melts down in a 5-4 ten-inning loss in Atlanta. Andruw Jones’ blast off Ricky Stone is the game-winner. 

2004 – Craig Biggio spanks a leadoff single for his 2,500th career hit.  He celebrates by launching solo homers in his next two at bats. But he strikes out in a key ninth-inning situation and the bullpen melts down in a 5-4 ten-inning loss in Atlanta. Andruw Jones’ blast off Ricky Stone is the game-winner. 

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2004 – Despite a 6-2 loss to Milwaukee, reliever Brandon Backe becomes the third pitcher in franchise history to strike out the side on nine pitches. He whiffs Bill Hall, Scott Podsednik and Craig Counsell in order after having fanned Chad Moeller to end the previous frame. Craig Biggio swats the 35th leadoff homer of his career, an NL record. 

2004 – Despite a 6-2 loss to Milwaukee, reliever Brandon Backe becomes the third pitcher in franchise history to strike out the side on nine pitches. He whiffs Bill Hall, Scott Podsednik and Craig Counsell in order after having fanned Chad Moeller to end the previous frame. Craig Biggio swats the 35th leadoff homer of his career, an NL record. 

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2004 – What retirement? 41-year-old Roger Clemens makes his debut as an Astro a memorable one, blanking the Giants on one hit over seven innings to earn his 311th career victory, a 10-1 blowout. Homers by Richard Hidalgo, Jeff Bagwell and Jeff Kent support The Rocket who fans nine, including slugger Barry Bonds twice. Clemens also singles in his first at-bat as a National Leaguer. 

2004 – What retirement? 41-year-old Roger Clemens makes his debut as an Astro a memorable one, blanking the Giants on one hit over seven innings to earn his 311th career victory, a 10-1 blowout. Homers by Richard Hidalgo, Jeff Bagwell and Jeff Kent support The Rocket who fans nine, including slugger Barry Bonds twice. Clemens also singles in his first at-bat as a National Leaguer. 

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2004 – Lefthander Jeriome Robertson is dealt to the Cleveland Indians for two minor league outfielders, Willy Taveras and Luke Scott. Taveras had been claimed by Houston in the Rule V draft but had been waived and returned to Cleveland before the trade. Robertson had a 15-9 rookie season in Houston but found himself out of the rotation after the Astros snared Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens in free agency. 

2004 – Lefthander Jeriome Robertson is dealt to the Cleveland Indians for two minor league outfielders, Willy Taveras and Luke Scott. Taveras had been claimed by Houston in the Rule V draft but had been waived and returned to Cleveland before the trade. Robertson had a 15-9 rookie season in Houston but found himself out of the rotation after the Astros snared Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens in free agency. 

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2004 – In a scene that gave Astro veterans flashbacks, shortstop Adam Everett is hit in the face by a fastball from Toronto’s Miguel Batista. Fortunately, the throw glances off Everett’s shoulder before striking him in the mouth, unlike the blow that another Houston shortstop, Dickie Thon, took in 1984 that significantly altered his career. Bloodied and sore, Everett leaves the game, a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays, but returns before the regular season began. 

2004 – In a scene that gave Astro veterans flashbacks, shortstop Adam Everett is hit in the face by a fastball from Toronto’s Miguel Batista. Fortunately, the throw glances off Everett’s shoulder before striking him in the mouth, unlike the blow that another Houston shortstop, Dickie Thon, took in 1984 that significantly altered his career. Bloodied and sore, Everett leaves the game, a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays, but returns before the regular season began. 

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2004 – Houston acquires utilityman Mike Lamb from the New York Yankees in return for a minor league pitcher. Lamb bats .281 with 49 homers and 196 RBIs over four campaigns, adding five more homers in postseason play. 

2004 – Houston acquires utilityman Mike Lamb from the New York Yankees in return for a minor league pitcher. Lamb bats .281 with 49 homers and 196 RBIs over four campaigns, adding five more homers in postseason play. 

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2004 – Andy Pettitte, a major off-season addition, makes his Astro debut a succesful one, dropping the Braves, 9-3. The next day, Roger Clemens, the other Yankee free agent signee, wins his debut in a 15-8 clubbing of the Pirates. 

2004 – Andy Pettitte, a major off-season addition, makes his Astro debut a succesful one, dropping the Braves, 9-3. The next day, Roger Clemens, the other Yankee free agent signee, wins his debut in a 15-8 clubbing of the Pirates. 

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2004 – Off-seasons can be hazardous to your health, part two. Lance Berkman tears the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while playing flag football at a church outing. He misses the first six weeks of the 2005 season but rebounds with 24 homers and 82 RBIs to anchor the Astros lineup. 

2004 – Off-seasons can be hazardous to your health, part two. Lance Berkman tears the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while playing flag football at a church outing. He misses the first six weeks of the 2005 season but rebounds with 24 homers and 82 RBIs to anchor the Astros lineup. 

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2004 – Houston agrees to pick up the contract option on outfielder Craig Biggio, assuring him an 18th season in an Astros uniform. Biggio owns franchise records in several categories and is coming off a season where he hits .281 with 24 home runs. 

2004 – Houston agrees to pick up the contract option on outfielder Craig Biggio, assuring him an 18th season in an Astros uniform. Biggio owns franchise records in several categories and is coming off a season where he hits .281 with 24 home runs. 

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2004 – Gerry Hunsicker resigns as General Manager after nine seasons. Assistant GM Tim Purpura is promoted to replace him. Hunsicker oversaw five teams that reached the National League playoffs. Purpura’s first priority will be attempting to re-sign free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran who starred in the postseason. 

2004 – Gerry Hunsicker resigns as General Manager after nine seasons. Assistant GM Tim Purpura is promoted to replace him. Hunsicker oversaw five teams that reached the National League playoffs. Purpura’s first priority will be attempting to re-sign free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran who starred in the postseason. 

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2004 – Jeff Bagwell ties the Cardinals, 4-4, with a clutch two-out single in the ninth in Game Six of the N.L.C.S.  but Jim Edmonds gives St. Louis the 6-4 decision with a two-run homer off Dan Miceli in the 12th to tie the series at three games each. Pete Munro was the surprise starter, lasting just 2-1/3 innings and giving up four runs, but the shaky Houston bullpen holds off the Redbirds until the fatal twelfth. 

2004 – Jeff Bagwell ties the Cardinals, 4-4, with a clutch two-out single in the ninth in Game Six of the N.L.C.S.  but Jim Edmonds gives St. Louis the 6-4 decision with a two-run homer off Dan Miceli in the 12th to tie the series at three games each. Pete Munro was the surprise starter, lasting just 2-1/3 innings and giving up four runs, but the shaky Houston bullpen holds off the Redbirds until the fatal twelfth. 

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2004 – Heartbreak again. Houston owns a 2-1 lead with Roger Clemens on the hill in the decisive Game Seven of the N.L.C.S. but Albert Pujols ties it with a double in the sixth then Scott Rolen unties it on the next pitch with a two-run homer. The Cardinals tack on an insurance run and win the series, 5-2, behind Jeff Suppan. Craig Biggio started the night perfectly with a solo homer . While not as close as the 1980 World Series, the Astros were in sniffing distance of this one before falling short. Still, they could look back on an improbable season that featured an amazing streak to make the playoffs and the first postseason series win in their history. 

2004 – Heartbreak again. Houston owns a 2-1 lead with Roger Clemens on the hill in the decisive Game Seven of the N.L.C.S. but Albert Pujols ties it with a double in the sixth then Scott Rolen unties it on the next pitch with a two-run homer. The Cardinals tack on an insurance run and win the series, 5-2, behind Jeff Suppan. Craig Biggio started the night perfectly with a solo homer . While not as close as the 1980 World Series, the Astros were in sniffing distance of this one before falling short. Still, they could look back on an improbable season that featured an amazing streak to make the playoffs and the first postseason series win in their history. 

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2004 – Carlos Beltran homers off Julian Tavarez in the seventh to give the Astros a 6-5 triumph in Game Four of the N.L.C.S., evening the series at 2-2 . It is Beltran’s seventh straight postseason game with a home run, setting a new record. It’s also his eighth in this postseason to tie him with Barry Bonds for that mark. Houston tied it the inning before on a solo shot by Lance Berkman and a run-scoring single by Raul Chavez. Dan Wheeler and Brad Lidge silence the Redbirds after Roy Oswalt pitched the first six innings. 

2004 – Carlos Beltran homers off Julian Tavarez in the seventh to give the Astros a 6-5 triumph in Game Four of the N.L.C.S., evening the series at 2-2 . It is Beltran’s seventh straight postseason game with a home run, setting a new record. It’s also his eighth in this postseason to tie him with Barry Bonds for that mark. Houston tied it the inning before on a solo shot by Lance Berkman and a run-scoring single by Raul Chavez. Dan Wheeler and Brad Lidge silence the Redbirds after Roy Oswalt pitched the first six innings. 

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2004 – In a classic postseason pitching duel, Houston’s Brandon Backe and St. Louis’ Woody Williams trade one-hit performances over the first seven innings. Backe keeps his no-hit bid until a two-out single by Tony Womack in the sixth and allows just that for eight innings. In the bottom of the ninth, Jeff Kent belts a mammoth three-run homer off Jason Isringhausen to send the crowd into delirium, a 3-0 triumph in Game Five and a 3-2 lead in the N.L.C.S., needing just one win in Missouri to reach the World Series. 

2004 – In a classic postseason pitching duel, Houston’s Brandon Backe and St. Louis’ Woody Williams trade one-hit performances over the first seven innings. Backe keeps his no-hit bid until a two-out single by Tony Womack in the sixth and allows just that for eight innings. In the bottom of the ninth, Jeff Kent belts a mammoth three-run homer off Jason Isringhausen to send the crowd into delirium, a 3-0 triumph in Game Five and a 3-2 lead in the N.L.C.S., needing just one win in Missouri to reach the World Series. 

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2004 – In their eighth try, the Astros finally win a postseason series, blowing out the Braves, 12-3, in Game Five of the Carlos Beltran steals the show with two home runs and five RBIs in a four-hit performance  N.L.D.S. . Craig Biggio adds three hits while Jeff Bagwell slams a two-run shot. Roy Oswalt, on short rest, goes five gutty innings for the victory. The win is even sweeter, having vanquished a foe that had beaten them nine-games-out-of-ten in three previous postseason matchups. 

2004 – In their eighth try, the Astros finally win a postseason series, blowing out the Braves, 12-3, in Game Five of the Carlos Beltran steals the show with two home runs and five RBIs in a four-hit performance  N.L.D.S. . Craig Biggio adds three hits while Jeff Bagwell slams a two-run shot. Roy Oswalt, on short rest, goes five gutty innings for the victory. The win is even sweeter, having vanquished a foe that had beaten them nine-games-out-of-ten in three previous postseason matchups. 

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2004 – The Cardinals build a 2-0 lead in the N.L.C.S. with a 6-4 verdict in the rain. Houston’s 3-0 lead, buoyed by homers from Carlos Beltran and Morgan Ensberg,  is washed away in a four-run Redbird fifth inning. Dan Miceli then serves up the decisive runs on back-to-back blasts by Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen in the eighth. 

2004 – The Cardinals build a 2-0 lead in the N.L.C.S. with a 6-4 verdict in the rain. Houston’s 3-0 lead, buoyed by homers from Carlos Beltran and Morgan Ensberg,  is washed away in a four-run Redbird fifth inning. Dan Miceli then serves up the decisive runs on back-to-back blasts by Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen in the eighth. 

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2004 – The Astros hold on for an 8-5 triumph over the Braves in Game Three of the N.L.D.S., taking a 2-1 lead in the series. Morgan Ensberg drives in three while Carlos Beltran drives in a pair with a homer and a double . Brandon Backe works the first six innings for the victory but watches the bullpen struggle again. 

2004 – The Astros hold on for an 8-5 triumph over the Braves in Game Three of the N.L.D.S., taking a 2-1 lead in the series. Morgan Ensberg drives in three while Carlos Beltran drives in a pair with a homer and a double . Brandon Backe works the first six innings for the victory but watches the bullpen struggle again. 

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2004 – Houston gets the jump on Atlanta in Game One of the N.L.D.S. with a 9-3 rout behind Roger Clemens and four home runs. Brad Ausmus, Lance Berkman, Carlos Beltran and Jason Lane provide the long balls . Clemens, pitching while recovering from the stomach flu, lasts seven innings. Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, goats of postseasons past, both deliver hits to start the series. 

2004 – Houston gets the jump on Atlanta in Game One of the N.L.D.S. with a 9-3 rout behind Roger Clemens and four home runs. Brad Ausmus, Lance Berkman, Carlos Beltran and Jason Lane provide the long balls . Clemens, pitching while recovering from the stomach flu, lasts seven innings. Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, goats of postseasons past, both deliver hits to start the series. 

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2004 – A two-run homer in the 11th by Rafael Furcal off Dan Miceli gives Atlanta a 4-2 decision over Houston in Game Two of the N.L.D.S. to tie the best-of-five series. The Braves outlast Roy Oswalt then attack the bullpen late. Solo homers by Jeff Bagwell and Raul Chavez give the Astros their only runs. 

2004 – A two-run homer in the 11th by Rafael Furcal off Dan Miceli gives Atlanta a 4-2 decision over Houston in Game Two of the N.L.D.S. to tie the best-of-five series. The Braves outlast Roy Oswalt then attack the bullpen late. Solo homers by Jeff Bagwell and Raul Chavez give the Astros their only runs. 

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2004 – Roy Oswalt becomes the National League’s only 20-game winner with a 9-3 triumph over Colorado. Craig Biggio smashes two homers to set a career high. Jeff Kent goes yard to set a career record for home runs by a second baseman with 278. More importantly, the win clinches a tie for the wild card spot when ex-Astro Steve Finley belts a walk-off grand slam to give the Dodgers a 7-3 verdict over the Giants. The next day, Brandon Backe clinches the berth for Houston with a 5-3 victory, giving the Astros a 92-70 mark . They finished the year winning 36 of their last 46 games and 18 straight at home. 

2004 – Roy Oswalt becomes the National League’s only 20-game winner with a 9-3 triumph over Colorado. Craig Biggio smashes two homers to set a career high. Jeff Kent goes yard to set a career record for home runs by a second baseman with 278. More importantly, the win clinches a tie for the wild card spot when ex-Astro Steve Finley belts a walk-off grand slam to give the Dodgers a 7-3 verdict over the Giants. The next day, Brandon Backe clinches the berth for Houston with a 5-3 victory, giving the Astros a 92-70 mark . They finished the year winning 36 of their last 46 games and 18 straight at home. 

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2004 – Backup catcher Raul Chavez drives in five as Houston outslugs Milwaukee, 11-7. Morgan Ensberg adds four hits. Jeff Kent and Lance Berkman go deep. The Astros are 1-1/2 games behind the Cubs in the hunt for the final playoff berth. 

2004 – Backup catcher Raul Chavez drives in five as Houston outslugs Milwaukee, 11-7. Morgan Ensberg adds four hits. Jeff Kent and Lance Berkman go deep. The Astros are 1-1/2 games behind the Cubs in the hunt for the final playoff berth. 

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2004 – Lance Berkman tags Dustin Hermanson with a three-run bomb in the ninth inning that keys a 7-3 win in San Francisco when it appeared the Giants were set to sweep the three-game series . The blast ignites a five-run outburst that would prove to be important in the season’s final weekend. Berkman tops the 100-RBI mark for the third time in four seasons. 

2004 – Lance Berkman tags Dustin Hermanson with a three-run bomb in the ninth inning that keys a 7-3 win in San Francisco when it appeared the Giants were set to sweep the three-game series . The blast ignites a five-run outburst that would prove to be important in the season’s final weekend. Berkman tops the 100-RBI mark for the third time in four seasons. 

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2004 – Once down by seven games in the Wild Card standings and behind five other clubs, the Astros come all the way back on the wings of their 12th straight win, a 5-2 triumph over Cincinnati, clinching their third straight series sweep. Four homers in the first inning (by Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman and Mike Lamb) is all Roger Clemens needs to get his 16th win, the 326th of his career, passing Eddie Plank for 11th on the All-Time wins list. The Astros tie the club record for winning streaks, set in 1999. The victory, however, ends their streak of eleven straight games scoring six or more runs, not done since the Brooklyn Bridegrooms in 1895. 

2004 – Once down by seven games in the Wild Card standings and behind five other clubs, the Astros come all the way back on the wings of their 12th straight win, a 5-2 triumph over Cincinnati, clinching their third straight series sweep. Four homers in the first inning (by Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman and Mike Lamb) is all Roger Clemens needs to get his 16th win, the 326th of his career, passing Eddie Plank for 11th on the All-Time wins list. The Astros tie the club record for winning streaks, set in 1999. The victory, however, ends their streak of eleven straight games scoring six or more runs, not done since the Brooklyn Bridegrooms in 1895. 

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2004 – Roger Clemens claims his 325th career victory, passing Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton, two former Astros, for 12th place on the all-time wins list. He does so in an 8-6 triumph over Pittsburgh. Home runs by Jose Vizcaino, Carlos Beltran, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell stake Clemens to a 7-0 lead but he gives up six runs in the seventh before leaving. Lance Berkman adds an insurance tally while the bullpen quiets the Bucs. It is Clemens’ 15th win of the season and Houston’s seventh straight as they climb within 2-1/2 games of Chicago for the wild card playoff spot. 

2004 – Roger Clemens claims his 325th career victory, passing Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton, two former Astros, for 12th place on the all-time wins list. He does so in an 8-6 triumph over Pittsburgh. Home runs by Jose Vizcaino, Carlos Beltran, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell stake Clemens to a 7-0 lead but he gives up six runs in the seventh before leaving. Lance Berkman adds an insurance tally while the bullpen quiets the Bucs. It is Clemens’ 15th win of the season and Houston’s seventh straight as they climb within 2-1/2 games of Chicago for the wild card playoff spot. 

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2004 – Given up for dead, the Astros win their fifth straight to creep back within three games of the National League wild card lead. The home run bats go to work in an 8-0 triumph over Cincinnati as Jeff Kent goes deep twice while Carlos Beltran, Jeff Bagwelland Lance Berkman go back-to-back-to-back in the fourth off Aaron Harang. Brandon Backe gets the shutout with help from three relievers. Houston still needs to overtake four other teams in order to get back to the postseason. 

2004 – Given up for dead, the Astros win their fifth straight to creep back within three games of the National League wild card lead. The home run bats go to work in an 8-0 triumph over Cincinnati as Jeff Kent goes deep twice while Carlos Beltran, Jeff Bagwelland Lance Berkman go back-to-back-to-back in the fourth off Aaron Harang. Brandon Backe gets the shutout with help from three relievers. Houston still needs to overtake four other teams in order to get back to the postseason. 

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2004 – Carlos Beltran’s two home runs lead a five-dinger barrage as Houston clubs the Cubs, 15-7. Jeff Bagwell, Jeff Kent and Lance Berkman also supply the long ball. Roy Oswalt wins his 15th despite harassment from Chicago’s Michael Barrett who is still upset over being hit by Oswalt the previous weekend in Houston. Oswalt is plunked by Kent Mercker but nobody is tossed despite the war of words. 

2004 – Carlos Beltran’s two home runs lead a five-dinger barrage as Houston clubs the Cubs, 15-7. Jeff Bagwell, Jeff Kent and Lance Berkman also supply the long ball. Roy Oswalt wins his 15th despite harassment from Chicago’s Michael Barrett who is still upset over being hit by Oswalt the previous weekend in Houston. Oswalt is plunked by Kent Mercker but nobody is tossed despite the war of words. 

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2004 – First the Astros turn a triple play then turn around a huge deficit in a 12-10 triumph in Philadelphia. The trifecta goes 5-4-3 off the bat of Todd Pratt in the fifth with Morgan Ensberg touching third, tossing to Jeff Kent at second for the force and Kent relaying to Mike Lamb at first to end the inning . But the Phils led 7-2. Next came a three-homer Houston assault in the seventh with Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman launching two-run shots before Eric Bruntlett topped them with a three-run blast for a 10-7 lead. A two-run double from Kent is needed to survive the final rally, giving Chad Qualls his first major league win. Lamb also steals home. 

2004 – First the Astros turn a triple play then turn around a huge deficit in a 12-10 triumph in Philadelphia. The trifecta goes 5-4-3 off the bat of Todd Pratt in the fifth with Morgan Ensberg touching third, tossing to Jeff Kent at second for the force and Kent relaying to Mike Lamb at first to end the inning . But the Phils led 7-2. Next came a three-homer Houston assault in the seventh with Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman launching two-run shots before Eric Bruntlett topped them with a three-run blast for a 10-7 lead. A two-run double from Kent is needed to survive the final rally, giving Chad Qualls his first major league win. Lamb also steals home. 

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2004 – Down 4-2 in the ninth, the Astros rally for three runs to nip the Expos, 5-4. Jason Lane and Orlando Palmeiro deliver RBI singles. Carlos Beltran delivers a two-run homer in the first. With a record of 57-60, Houston is 19-1/2 games in back of St. Louis and six games behind wild card leaders Chicago and San Francisco. The ninth-inning rally sparks a two-month run unmatched in franchise history. 

2004 – Down 4-2 in the ninth, the Astros rally for three runs to nip the Expos, 5-4. Jason Lane and Orlando Palmeiro deliver RBI singles. Carlos Beltran delivers a two-run homer in the first. With a record of 57-60, Houston is 19-1/2 games in back of St. Louis and six games behind wild card leaders Chicago and San Francisco. The ninth-inning rally sparks a two-month run unmatched in franchise history. 

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2004 – Houston hosts the All-Star Game for the third time. Four Astros are named to the National League team and three start but the American League leaves with a 9-4 victory, buoyed by a six-run first inning off Roger Clemens. Jeff Kent and Carlos Beltransingle before the Minute Maid Park crowd while Lance Berkman mans center field . Local fans boo manager Jimy Williams when he is introduced. It will be the last time as he and two coaches are fired the next day. Former Astro infielder Phil Garner is named interim manager. 

2004 – Houston hosts the All-Star Game for the third time. Four Astros are named to the National League team and three start but the American League leaves with a 9-4 victory, buoyed by a six-run first inning off Roger Clemens. Jeff Kent and Carlos Beltransingle before the Minute Maid Park crowd while Lance Berkman mans center field . Local fans boo manager Jimy Williams when he is introduced. It will be the last time as he and two coaches are fired the next day. Former Astro infielder Phil Garner is named interim manager. 

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2004 – Morgan Ensberg, who had smacked 25 homers the year before, belts his first homer – 213 at-bats into the season . The blast is a dramatic two-run bomb over the railroad tracks in left field in the eighth to give Houston a 7-5 comeback victory over the Texas Rangers. Ensberg swats a grand slam the next night in a 10-8 win that overcomes a five-run deficit. 

2004 – Morgan Ensberg, who had smacked 25 homers the year before, belts his first homer – 213 at-bats into the season . The blast is a dramatic two-run bomb over the railroad tracks in left field in the eighth to give Houston a 7-5 comeback victory over the Texas Rangers. Ensberg swats a grand slam the next night in a 10-8 win that overcomes a five-run deficit. 

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After the Devil Rays decline his 2005 $8 million contract option, Tino Martinez (.262, 23, 76) signs a one-year, $3 million contract to rejoin the Yankees. The popular 37 year-old first baseman, acquired as insurance in the event Jason Giambi’s (the player who replaced him) health continues to fail, played in the Bronx from 1996-2001.

After the Devil Rays decline his 2005 $8 million contract option, Tino Martinez (.262, 23, 76) signs a one-year, $3 million contract to rejoin the Yankees. The popular 37 year-old first baseman, acquired as insurance in the event Jason Giambi’s (the player who replaced him) health continues to fail, played in the Bronx from 1996-2001.

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2004 – After the Devil Rays decline his 2005 $8 million contract option, free agent first baseman Tino Martinez, who hit .262 with 23 home runs and 76 RBI for Tampa Bay last season, signs a one-year, $3 million contract to rejoin the New York Yankees. Martinez played in New York from 1996 through 2001 before being replaced by Jason Giambi. This time, he is acquired as insurance in the event Giambi’s fragile health, suspected by some sportswriters to be the result of steroid use, continues to fail.

2004 – After the Devil Rays decline his 2005 $8 million contract option, free agent first baseman Tino Martinez, who hit .262 with 23 home runs and 76 RBI for Tampa Bay last season, signs a one-year, $3 million contract to rejoin the New York Yankees. Martinez played in New York from 1996 through 2001 before being replaced by Jason Giambi. This time, he is acquired as insurance in the event Giambi’s fragile health, suspected by some sportswriters to be the result of steroid use, continues to fail.

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Aid originally destined for Nicaragua in memory of the anniversary of Roberto Clemente’s tragic flight 32 years ago, will be sent instead to the earthquake and tsunami victims of Southern Asia

2004 – Aid originally destined for Nicaragua in memory of the anniversary of Roberto Clemente’s tragic flight 32 years ago, will be sent instead to the earthquake and tsunami victims of Southern Asia. Roberto Clemente Jr., who with the help of the Project Club Clemente, collected two tons of supplies and raised nearly $20,000 dollars in efforts to reenact his father’s unfinished mission, decides to postpone the ceremonial flight and divert the relief to help those in most desperate need right now.

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2004 – Free agent OF Moises Alou, who hit .293 with 39 home runs and 106 RBI for the Chicago Cubs, is signed by the San Francisco Giants to a one-year contract with an option for a second year. It will be the second time Alou will be managed by his dad Felipe as he did playing with the Montreal Expos from 1992 to 1996.

2004 – Free agent OF Moises Alou, who hit .293 with 39 home runs and 106 RBI for the Chicago Cubs, is signed by the San Francisco Giants to a one-year contract with an option for a second year. It will be the second time Alou will be managed by his dad Felipe as he did playing with the Montreal Expos from 1992 to 1996.

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After the Cubs decline Moises Alou’s (.293, 39, 106) contract option, the Giants ink the free agent outfielder to a one-year contract with an option for a second year. The signing marks the second time the All-Star will be managed by his dad Felipe, as he did playing with the Expos from 1992-96.

After the Cubs decline Moises Alou’s (.293, 39, 106) contract option, the Giants ink the free agent outfielder to a one-year contract with an option for a second year. The signing marks the second time the All-Star will be managed by his dad Felipe, as he did playing with the Expos from 1992-96.

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The St. Louis Cardinals sign former Anaheim Angels shortstop David Eckstein to a three-year contract. Eckstein will replace Edgar Renteria, who signed with the Boston Red Sox a few days ago, making the Boston shortstop, Orlando Cabrera, available to Anaheim, the team Eckstein is leaving.

The St. Louis Cardinals sign former Anaheim Angels shortstop David Eckstein to a three-year contract. Eckstein will replace Edgar Renteria, who signed with the Boston Red Sox a few days ago, making the Boston shortstop, Orlando Cabrera, available to Anaheim, the team Eckstein is leaving.

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Free agent outfielder J.D. Drew, who hit .305 with 31 home runs and 118 RBI for the Atlanta Braves, signs a five-year, $55 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After being traded by the Cardinals to Atlanta last season, Drew, well-known to be injury prone, played in a career-high 145 games.

Free agent outfielder J.D. Drew, who hit .305 with 31 home runs and 118 RBI for the Atlanta Braves, signs a five-year, $55 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After being traded by the Cardinals to Atlanta last season, Drew, well-known to be injury prone, played in a career-high 145 games.

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2004 – Two days after trading pitching ace Tim Hudson (17-8, 4.43 ERA) to the Braves, the A’s deal Mark Mulder to the Cardinals for starting pitcher Dan Haren, reliever Kiko Calero and minor league catching prospect Daric Barton. Five of the six players obtained by giving up two-thirds of the team’s “Big Three” are expected to be part of the opening day roster for Oakland.

2004 – Two days after trading pitching ace Tim Hudson (17-8, 4.43 ERA) to the Braves, the A’s deal Mark Mulder to the Cardinals for starting pitcher Dan Haren, reliever Kiko Calero and minor league catching prospect Daric Barton. Five of the six players obtained by giving up two-thirds of the team’s “Big Three” are expected to be part of the opening day roster for Oakland.

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Two days after trading pitching ace Tim Hudson (17-8, 4.43) to the Braves, the A’s deal Mark Mulder to the Cardinals for starting pitcher Dan Haren, reliever Kiko Calero, and minor league catching prospect Daric Barton. Five of the six players obtained by giving up two-thirds of the team’s ‘Big Three’ are expected to be part of the opening day roster for Oakland.

Two days after trading pitching ace Tim Hudson (17-8, 4.43) to the Braves, the A’s deal Mark Mulder to the Cardinals for starting pitcher Dan Haren, reliever Kiko Calero, and minor league catching prospect Daric Barton. Five of the six players obtained by giving up two-thirds of the team’s ‘Big Three’ are expected to be part of the opening day roster for Oakland.

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The last-place Mariners continue to sign impact free agents in hopes to improve upon last season’s poor performance (63-99) as the team inks 25-year-old Adrian Beltre (.334, 48, 121) to a $64 million, five-year deal. The former Dodger third baseman joins Richie Sexson, a free agent Seattle signed to a four-year, $50 million contract two days ago.

The last-place Mariners continue to sign impact free agents in hopes to improve upon last season’s poor performance (63-99) as the team inks 25-year-old Adrian Beltre (.334, 48, 121) to a $64 million, five-year deal. The former Dodger third baseman joins Richie Sexson, a free agent Seattle signed to a four-year, $50 million contract two days ago.

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Edgar Renteria inks a four-year contract with the World Champion Red Sox

Although the terms of the deal are not made public, Edgar Renteria (.287, 10, 72) inks a four-year contract believed to be worth $40 million with the World Champion Red Sox. The former Cardinal shortstop, who made the last out in the World Series ending Boston’s 86-year drought, replaces fellow Colombian Orlando Cabrera, the player obtained in July in the Nomar Garciaparra trade.

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A three-team deal is concluded which includes Diamondback southpaw Randy Johnson and pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii traded to the Yankees, Dodger outfielder Shawn Green and pitcher Brad Penny being sent to the Diamondbacks with Javier Vazquez and prospects going to the Dodgers. The blockbuster transaction falls apart as Los Angeles backs out at the eleventh hour.

A three-team deal is concluded which includes Diamondback southpaw Randy Johnson and pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii traded to the Yankees, Dodger outfielder Shawn Green and pitcher Brad Penny being sent to the Diamondbacks with Javier Vazquez and prospects going to the Dodgers. The blockbuster transaction falls apart as Los Angeles backs out at the eleventh hour.

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The last place Mariners continue to sign impact free-agents in hopes to improve upon last season’s poor performance (63-99) when the team signs 25 year-old Adrian Beltre (.334, 48, 121) to a $64 million, five-year deal. The former Dodger third baseman joins Richie Sexson, a free agent Seattle signed to a four-year, $50 million contract two days ago.

The last place Mariners continue to sign impact free-agents in hopes to improve upon last season’s poor performance (63-99) when the team signs 25 year-old Adrian Beltre (.334, 48, 121) to a $64 million, five-year deal. The former Dodger third baseman joins Richie Sexson, a free agent Seattle signed to a four-year, $50 million contract two days ago.

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Coming off an injury-shortened season with the Diamondbacks, Richie Sexson (.233, 9, 23) agrees to a $50 million, four-year deal with the Mariners. The 29-year-old free agent first baseman will be reunited with Seattle’s new manager Mike Hargrove, his former skipper in Cleveland from 1997 to 2000.

Coming off an injury-shortened season with the Diamondbacks, Richie Sexson (.233, 9, 23) agrees to a $50 million, four-year deal with the Mariners. The 29-year-old free agent first baseman will be reunited with Seattle’s new manager Mike Hargrove, his former skipper in Cleveland from 1997 to 2000.

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After the District of Columbia Council votes to require private financing for at least half of the construction costs of a Nationals’ new ballpark, Major League Baseball suspends all sales of the team’s merchandise and tickets. The decision may make anything with the National League’s newest logo quite a collector’s item.

After the District of Columbia Council votes to require private financing for at least half of the construction costs of a Nationals’ new ballpark, Major League Baseball suspends all sales of the team’s merchandise and tickets. The decision may make anything with the National League’s newest logo quite a collector’s item.

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After offering a four-year deal worth approximately $53 million, the Mets announce officially the club has come to terms with Pedro Martinez (16-9, 3.90 ERA). The former Red Sox ace, who posted a 117-37 record in seven seasons with Boston, criticizes his former team for not being more aggressive in retaining his services.

After offering a four-year deal worth approximately $53 million, the Mets announce officially the club has come to terms with Pedro Martinez (16-9, 3.90 ERA). The former Red Sox ace, who posted a 117-37 record in seven seasons with Boston, criticizes his former team for not being more aggressive in retaining his services.

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