DENVER (Ticker) --
could not take advantage of a gift.
Bagwell failed to capitalize with the bases loaded following an error by catcher
in the top of the eighth inning, allowing the
to escape with a 7-5 victory over the
The Astros scored a run in top of the eighth to pull within 5-3 and had the bases loaded with two outs for Bagwell, the club's leader in home runs and RBI.
looked like he would get out of the inning when Bagwell lofted a foul pop on a 2-1 pitch. But battling raindrops, Johnson - a four-time Gold Glove winner - took a few steps behind the plate and the ball dropped for an error.
Bagwell battled to a full count before grounding to third baseman
, who stepped on the bag for a forceout.
"I've just been struggling at the plate and didn't get the hit," Bagwell said. "But we were there in the ninth and had another rally."
"We had some chances," Astros manager
added. "And we had the right guys up there."
Johnson atoned for his error with a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth and Stynes delivered an RBI double later in the inning as the Rockies won for just the fifth time in the last 22 games.
had three hits and knocked in a run for the Astros, who had a four-game winning streak stopped and their lead atop the National League Central Division reduced to one-half game over the
"We have to take care of ourselves, we can't worry about what the Cubs are doing," Bagwell. "We have to go out and win our ballgame. And we're a good enough ballclub to do that."
(12-11) got the win, yielding two unearned runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. He got a kick out of playing spoiler.
"Maybe after the game is over, it's nice," Oliver said. "Just because you're not going to the playoffs doesn't mean you want to make it easy for your opponents to get there."
Speier gave up two runs in the ninth but picked up his eighth save in 11 chances.
(6-5) took the loss after getting tagged for five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
With temperatures in the 40s,
gave the Rockies a 3-2 lead when he led off the bottom of the fifth and sent a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall for his 31st homer.
One out later,
was intentionally walked.
relieved Villone and Johnson reached on an infield hit to load the bases and set the stage for pinch hitter
, Sweeney lined a two-run single to left field, giving the Rockies a 5-2 lead.
"He's just a professional who knows how to play the game," Rockies manager
said. "He's an extra man who knows his role and can teach roles."
In the eighth, the Astros tried to rally as
stroked an RBI single off Speier, cutting the deficit to 5-3. But Speier retired Bagwell to end the inning.
Johnson started the bottom of the inning by depositing a 2-2 pitch from
over the right field wall for his 19th homer.
followed with a single and scored two outs later on Stynes' double to extend the lead to 7-3.
In the ninth, the Astros attempted to make things interesting as
stroked an RBI single and
lofted a sacrifice fly.
Houston took a 2-0 lead in the second on an error by third baseman
and a run-scoring single by Ensberg.
Uribe plated a run in the bottom of the inning with a triple and the Rockies tied it in the third on Payton's RBI single.