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Updated: Sunday, September 28, 2003 7:33 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
Milwaukee Brewers
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
5 8 1
Houston Astros
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
8 10 2
W Stone (6-4)
L Martinez (0-3)
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HOUSTON 8, MILWUAKEE 5
 

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Jeff Bagwell did his best to ease the pain of the Houston Astros ' disappointing weekend.

After back-to-back losses to last-place Milwaukee kept the Astros out of the playoffs, Bagwell hit two homers to pace Houston to an 8-5 victory over the Brewers.

Bagwell homered in each of his first two at-bats, hitting a solo shot in the first inning and a three-run shot in the third. That gave him 39 for the season, but he was removed from the game after the second homer. The substitution cost Bagwell a chance for his first 40-homer season since he hit 47 in 2000, as well as a shot for his fourth career three-homer game, and first since 1999.

Bagwell did, however, finish the season with 100 RBI, the eighth time he has reached that plateau in his career.

"It's a nice round number, but does it really mean anything? No," Bagwell said. "Numbers are a part of the game. But the bottom line is that we didn't win (the division). That is what means something and we were not able to do that."

"Bagwell had a really good game," Houston manager Jimy Williams said. "He got four RBI in two at-bats. That's pretty hard to do on the last day of the season."

The Astros went 87-75, a three-game improvement over their record from last season. But while Houston finished 13 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals last season, its race this year with the Chicago Cubs was not decided until Saturday.

"Even if we had won 102 games and still come up a game short, it would have been disappointing," Bagwell said. "We are here to win and we didn't do that."

"I can't imagine myself not being on a championship team," said Astros second baseman Jeff Kent , who played for the National League champion San Francisco Giants last season. "And right now, standing here, we all know that is not going to be us."

Milwaukee rookie Scott Podsednik put a bow on his Rookie of the Year resume with two hits, including a homer. Podsednik hit .314 with nine homers, 58 RBI and 43 stolen bases.

"We have improved as a whole," Podsednik said. "But we are not going to win a championship overnight. Right now we have to look at where we can improve and to make sure we keep going in that direction."

The Brewers finished in last place in the Central Division for the second straight year, but improved from 56-106 to 68-94 under first-year manager Ned Yost .


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