Series: Game 3 of 3

San Francisco won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, April 14
San Francisco4
Game 2: Tuesday, April 15
San Francisco8
Game 3: Wednesday, April 16
San Francisco5

Astros 8

(8-6, 3-2 away)

Giants 5

(13-2, 7-2 home)

    7:05 PM ET, April 16, 2003

    AT&T Park, San Francisco, California 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 000050120 8 15 1
    SF 301100000 5 11 0

    W: B. Lidge (2-0)

    L: J. Brower (2-1)

    S: B. Wagner (4)

    Astros snap Giants' six-game winning streak

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- With one swing, Craig Biggio seemed to change the fortunes of two teams.

    Craig Biggio

    Biggio's three-run homer started Houston on a big comeback and Jeff Kent hit a two-run double against his former team as the Astros sent the San Francisco Giants to just their second loss of the season, 8-5 Wednesday.

    "Your luck can change almost instantly in this game,'' Biggio said. "One minute nothing is falling in, the next your best players are getting key hits.

    "We never gave up faith even though we trailed 5-0. We finally started to catch some breaks out there.''

    Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner combined for five shutout innings in relief for the Astros, who rallied to avoid a three-game sweep.

    "For two days nothing fell our way, but today our players finally started to find the grass and get some key knocks,'' Houston manager Jimy Williams said.

    The Giants (13-2) had their six-game winning streak snapped and failed to match the 1918 New York Giants (18-1) for the best start in franchise history.

    After the Astros tied it with a five-run fifth on Biggio's fourth homer of the season and Kent's double, pinch-hitter Orlando Merced drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the seventh off Scott Eyre.

    Kent, the 2000 NL MVP who helped lead San Francisco to the World Series last season, went 2-for-9 with three RBI in his first series back at Pacific Bell Park.

    Wagner worked a hitless ninth for his fourth save.

    "It was exciting out there pitching tonight,'' he said. "We had lost the first two games and it gave us a chance to beat the best team in the league.

    Lidge (2-0) struck out three in two innings for the win.

    "Coming in like I did, it was important to keep the tie,'' Lidge said. "Not to let them get back the momentum we had gained from that five-run inning. If we kept it, I knew we would win.''

    Jim Brower (2-1), who put two runners on in the seventh, was the loser. Barry Bonds got the day off.

    The start was delayed 70 minutes by rain.

    Houston added two insurance runs in the eighth on Richard Hildalgo's sacrifice fly and Brad Ausmus' RBI single.

    The Giants were cruising along, leading 5-0, when starter Kirk Rueter ran into trouble in the fifth. With no outs, the Astros began the inning with a bunt single by Julio Lugo and a walk to pinch-hitter Raul Chavez. That brought up Biggio, who hit the first pitch from Rueter into the left-field seats. "I just made a bad pitch to Biggio,'' Rueter said. "It cut on me. I would like to have that pitch back. I don't know if the ball being wet did that to it.

    "It seemed that every thing that they put their bat on that inning fell in. It was just one of those innings. They are a good hitting team and they found the holes that inning.''

    Morgan Ensberg hit a ground single that skipped by diving third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo, and Lance Berkman moved Ensberg to third with a single to right.

    Kent hit the first pitch from Rueter into the left-center gap for a two-run double that tied it at 5.

    J.T Snow's second double of the game increased the Giants' lead to 4-0. Snow's three RBI gave him 18 for the season and the NL lead.

    The Giants got three runs in the first inning on Benito Santiago's RBI single and Snow's two-run double down the left-field line.

    Bonds was held out by manager Felipe Alou in an effort to rest the slugger's legs. Coupled with the Giants' off day Thursday, Bonds will have two days off before opening a series in Los Angeles on Friday.

    Game notes

    The Astros haven't won a season series against the Giants since 1999. ... Snow's 18 RBI set an April high for him. He drove in 17 runs in April 1993 for the Angels. ... Astros starter Brian Moehler is 0-for-30 as a major league hitter.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press