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Updated: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 2:41 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Houston Astros
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
6 6 0
Arizona Diamondbacks
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
7 9 1
W Bottalico (1-0)
L Lidge (4-1)
S Raggio (1)
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ARIZONA 7, HOUSTON 6
 

PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Brady Raggio saved more than an Arizona Diamondbacks lead.

Raggio picked up his first major league save and halted a ninth-inning rally as the Diamondbacks picked up their sixth-straight win with a 7-6 triumph over the Houston Astros .

Arizona squandered a 7-2 lead when relievers Oscar Villarreal and Mike Myers surrendered four runs with two outs. But with the tying run at second, Raggio got Richard Hidalgo to ground out to third base.

"It means a lot to me," Raggio said. "I was working hard and hoping that something good would happen. I found out down in the bullpen you have to stay on your guard because you can pitch anytime. It feels great that I have been able to come in and contribute right away."

The win extended the Diamondbacks' streak to a season-high six games, their longest since August 9-17 when they strung together eight in a row. Arizona also moved three games over .500 for the first time this season.

Luis Gonzalez and Quinton McCracken both tripled in Arizona's five-run eighth inning. Gonzalez's plated two runs to snap a 2-2 tie.

"My hit was timely, but Quinton's ended up being the silent killer the way the last inning turned out," Gonzalez said. "They've got a great bullpen, but when you can get some runs manufactured against those guys, you've got to take advantage of them when they're down."

After having his contract purchased from Class AAA Tucson prior to the game, Ricky Bottalico (1-0) allowed one hit, walked one and struck out one for his first victory since September 18, 2001.

Diamondbacks starter Brandon Webb cruised through the first three innings before giving up two runs in the fourth to squander a 1-0 lead. He lasted seven frames, allowing two hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

"I haven't pitched in a big-league game in over a year, so it was nice to get a win," Bottalico said. "It was a good day for me all around. When you look at this game as a whole, Webby did all the work and didn't get anything for it."

Alex Cintron homered in the sixth to erase a 2-1 deficit.

Brad Lidge (4-1) was tagged for five runs and two hits while retiring just two batters. It was just the seventh time in 38 appearances he has allowed a run.

"That can happen. He is a human being," Astros manager Jimy Williams said. "He has been so good for us all year long."

After Gonzalez put the Diamondbacks ahead 4-2, Lidge struck out Robby Hammock and intentionally walked Lyle Overbay . Lidge followed with another walk to Chad Moeller to load the bases before McCracken tripled to deep left, plating three more runs for a 7-2 bulge.

But Houston, which leads the league with 26 come-from-behind victories, made things interesting in the ninth. Villarreal surrendered a double to Jose Vizcaino and walked Brad Ausmus . He then got Adam Everett to strike out and pinch hitter Gregg Zaun to ground out.

But Craig Biggio sent a line drive off Villarreal's chest for an infield single, plating Vizcaino. The reliever remained in the game but allowed Geoff Blum to reach on an error before yielding a two-run single to Jeff Bagwell to pull the Astros within 7-5.

"I'm sure (Villarreal) is going to have a pretty good bruise on his chest," Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said. "Fortunately, it hit him in a fleshy area, but I thought the ball was going to go through him, it was hit so hard. I'm sure it started to affect his delivery as that muscle got tighter and tighter."

Myers came in and bounced his first pitch to the backstop, allowing Biggio to score and make it a one-run game.

"This team has battled back all year long from a lot of deficits," Williams said. "Tonight, we just came up two short."

Of Houston's comebacks, they only have managed three wins when trailing after eight innings.


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