Series: Game 3 of 3

San Diego won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, July 5
San Diego2
Game 2: Tuesday, July 6
San Diego5
Game 3: Wednesday, July 7
San Diego1

Astros 5

(43-41, 21-21 away)

Padres 1

(46-38, 25-18 home)

    10:05 PM ET, July 7, 2004

    Petco Park, San Diego, California 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 300100100 5 12 0
    SD 000000100 1 7 0

    W: R. Oswalt (8-6)

    L: J. Peavy (5-3)

    S: B. Lidge (6)

    Vizcaino homers for Astros

    SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Roy Oswalt gave the stumbling Houston Astros a much-needed lift.

    Oswalt held the San Diego Padres in check into the eighth inning, leading the Astros to a 5-1 victory on Thursday night to halt a three-game losing streak.

    Oswalt, who has been inconsistent during the first half of the season, won his fourth consecutive start and allowed the Astros to stay nine games back of first-place St. Louis in the NL Central.

    "It was a must win for us," said Jose Vizcaino, who tied his season high with four hits. "We've been struggling and can't get too much further back."

    Vizcaino set the tone in the first inning when he hit a two-run homer off Jake Peavy as Houston took a 3-0 lead. Vizcaino also doubled twice and had a walk.

    "Viz getting two runs (in the first) gets you in the mode to go right after their guys," Oswalt said. "That's what I tried do all night, be aggressive."

    Oswalt (8-6) gave up one run on six hits. The right-hander struck out six and walked three, including two straight with one out in the eighth inning that prompted manager Jimy Williams to replace him with Brad Lidge.

    Lidge came in and struck out Ryan Klesko before getting out of the inning on Jeff Cirillo's groundout. Lidge pitched the ninth inning for his sixth save.

    "I felt (Oswalt) had done his job," Williams said. "It was uncharacteristic for him to walk people. I felt it was the right move to make."

    Oswalt improved to 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA against San Diego. He did not allow a baserunner to reach third base until the seventh inning.

    "I've been struggling with my curveball," Oswalt said. "But tonight, I worked through it and felt pretty good and threw some good pitches."

    San Diego had its eight-game home winning streak snapped and fell .001 percent behind Los Angeles for first place in the NL West.

    "(Oswalt) has an 97 mph fastball, then he takes 30 mph off with the curveball and he throws them both for strikes," Jay Payton said. "We put wood on the curveball every now and then, but we were so far out in front, we didn't do much damage with it."

    Peavy (5-3) surrendered four runs on seven hits in his shortest start of the season. Peavy was making his second start since coming off the disabled list on July 2.

    "It was an uphill battle," said Peavy, who threw 57 pitches in the first two innings. "Coming back, you know you're not going to be as sharp as when you left. I made some bad pitches and couldn't catch any breaks."

    Houston left 14 runners on base and failed to score with the bases loaded in the first, second and sixth.

    Khalil Greene had an RBI single in the seventh for the Padres, who lost for the first time in six games.

    Carlos Beltran drove in two runs for Houston with a sacrifice fly and an RBI single in the seventh that increased the Astros' lead to 5-0.

    Adam Everett added a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the first inning, but Peavy escaped trouble after intentionally walking Raul Chavez with two outs to load the bases by getting Oswalt on a groundout.

    The Astros loaded the bases in the second with two outs, but Peavy induced Mike Lamb to ground to first.

    Game notes

    Oswalt had his streak of consecutive innings without allowing a walk stopped at 32 2-3. ... Astros third-base coach Gene Lamont was ejected by third base umpire Terry Craft in the top of the sixth inning for arguing that Padres pitcher Jay Witasick was not coming set in his motion before each pitch. ... Peavy's ERA rose from 1.98 to 2.43. ... The Astros recalled RHP Brandon Duckworth from Triple-A New Orleans after Wednesday night's game and optioned INF Chris Burke to New Orleans. Duckworth is scheduled to start Thursday night at Los Angeles.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press