Series: Game 1 of 4

Houston leads 1-0 (as of 7/4)

Game 1: Monday, July 4
San Diego1Final
Game 2: Tuesday, July 5
San Diego2Final
Game 3: Wednesday, July 6
San Diego4Final
Game 4: Thursday, July 7
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Padres 1

(45-38, 18-22 away)

Astros 4

(39-42, 25-13 home)

2:05 PM ET, July 4, 2005

Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

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SD 000100000 1 5 1
HOU 10000030 - 4 10 0

W: R. Oswalt (11-7)

L: B. Lawrence (5-7)

Biggio moves past Gehrig with three-run homer

HOUSTON (AP) -- Roy Oswalt was impressive in his All-Star audition.

He threw a five-hitter and the Houston Astros beat the San Diego Padres 4-1 on Monday, two days before the Internet voting ends for the final National League roster spot.

"I thought today's game would make [the voting] go either up or down," said Oswalt (11-7), who threw his third complete game of the season and eighth of his career. "I thought if I had a bad game, I might not make it and if I had a good one, maybe it would help."

When told his wife, Nicole, had sheepishly told a reporter she hadn't voted for him yet, Oswalt smiled. "I think she wants me to make it," he said. "I hope she does."

Hoping for his first All-Star berth, Oswalt is one of five pitchers eligible to earn the final roster spot in Internet balloting that ends Wednesday. Trevor Hoffman, Brett Myers, Billy Wagner and Brandon Webb are the others.

Oswalt lowered his ERA to 2.44. He struck out six and walked two to win his fifth straight start and eighth decision in a row at home.

Perhaps Oswalt's biggest play of the game came in the sixth inning when he picked Mark Sweeney off third with the game tied 1-1.

"I watched him the first two pitches and he wasn't watching my windup," Oswalt said of Sweeney. "I put a play on with Mo [third baseman Morgan Ensberg]. It's one we worked on in spring training and I thought might work one or two times this year."

Manager Phil Garner loved the play.

"That was a tremendous play and Roy executed it perfectly," Garner said. "I think it turned the momentum our way."

Padres manager Bruce Bochy lamented it.

"We just can't get picked off there," Bochy said. "They caught us. [Oswalt] sold it well, put on a good move and got him."

Craig Biggio hit a go-ahead, three-run homer for the Astros, who have won eight of 11. It was Biggio's 2,722nd hit, moving him past Lou Gehrig for 51st on the career list.

"I wasn't swinging the bat very well," said Biggio, who had gone 0-for-3 against Brian Lawrence before getting his 11th homer. "Obviously, I had three pretty bad at-bats. But I just tried to slow down and see the ball better the last time and I squared up on that one pretty well."

Lawrence (5-7) allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings.

"It was a terrible pitch, a slider that backed out over the middle of the plate," Lawrence said. "I had made some good pitches to him before, but he's a good bad-pitch hitter. I tried to make that pitch too good and you saw what happened."

Ensberg's run-scoring single put Houston up 1-0 in the first. His 60 RBI are the most by an Astro before the All-Star break since Lance Berkman had 81 in 2002. Still, Ensberg was left off the NL roster Sunday.

Geoff Blum's RBI double tied it at 1 in the fourth.

Game notes

Oswalt tied Bartolo Colon of the Angels for the most wins since the 2004 All-Star break with 23. ... Ensberg extended his career-high hitting streak to 11 games. ... Houston's Willy Taveras got his major league-leading 38th infield single in the first inning. He also had his third career two-steal game. ... The Padres are 17-18 on July 4. They had won six straight.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press