That changed Tuesday night as Ward hit his first homer in 216
at-bats, and Jeff Bagwell and Geoff Blum each hit two-run homers in
the eighth inning as the Astros beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-3. ''You know what's expected of you and you want to perform,''
Ward said. ''You're supposed to be a power hitter and you're not
hitting home runs. Here I have a chance to play every day. It wears
on you.'' Bagwell hit his 12th homer over the left-field wall off
Byung-Hyun Kim for a 5-3 lead. Blum connected later in the eighth. ''After the first home run, I kept thinking about it, I was mad
at myself,'' Kim said. ''It affected my remaining pitches. I knew
their hitters were good, but I just kept thinking about the home
run and not about their hitters.'' Bagwell's homer sailed near a spot on the left-field wall where
the Astros hung a plaque with the letters ''DK'' in honor of former
teammate Darryl Kile, who died in his sleep over the weekend. ''I'm happy that it will be there for the rest of my days in
Houston,'' said Bagwell, one of Kile's best friends on the Astros.
''I don't need it to remind me of Darryl, but it's nice to be able
to look up and see it.'' Mike Myers (3-3) faced one batter, walking Lance Berkman, and
took the loss. Ward and Gregg Zaun each homered in the second inning for the
Astros. Trailing 3-2 in the eighth, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases
off Octavio Dotel when Craig Counsell walked, Luis Gonzalez singled
and Erubiel Durazo was hit by a pitch. Billy Wagner (2-1) relieved and got pinch-hitter Jose Guillen to
ground into a double play as Counsell scored the tying run. The victory was only Houston's third in eight games. ''I didn't expect to have to come in in the eighth,'' Wagner
said. ''But we did what we were supposed to do and came through
with a big win. This has got to give us a lot of confidence. Bagwell hitting the home runs and Daryle and Zaun, guys were stepping up and getting the hits and we got good pitching. ''In an ideal world, it would be like this every night,'' he
said. Arizona starter Curt Schilling pitched seven innings, allowing
six hits and three earned runs. He struck out 10. ''I made two mistakes, two splitters,'' Schilling said. ''I left
them way up in the zone. It's a loss. I'm not out there to keep my
team in the game. I'm out there to win games.'' Ward led off the second with his first homer since April 7.
After Ward's homer, Richard Hidalgo singled and scored on Zaun's
first homer of the season for a 3-0 lead. Damian Miller hit his ninth homer in the fourth off Tim Redding
for the Diamondbacks' first run. In the fifth, Redding walked Schilling, who scored on a triple
just off the glove of Berkman in center field, cutting Houston's
lead to 3-2. Redding left after the fifth inning with a strained right rib
cage and was listed as day to day.
The Diamondbacks placed RHP Mike Morgan on the 15-day
disabled list with a bone bruise on his left knee. He was replaced
on the roster by RHP Todd Stottlemyre. ... Miller has thrown out
five straight runners trying to steal. ... Craig Biggio, one of the
late Darryl Kile's closest Astros friends, held a service at his
home Monday night with Kile's closest friends from the Astros and
Diamondbacks attending. ... Biggio, Bagwell, Brad Ausmus and Shane
Reynolds will attend funeral services for Kile on Wednesday in St.
Louis and return in time for the night game. Owner Drayton McLane
and general manager Gerry Hunsicker will accompany the players.