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