Rewind: Astros vs Giants, Game #3

The foreboding gray clouds hung overhead the whole game and finally opened up in the top of the fifth, cooling off the streaking-hot Giants.

April 16, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 0 0 0 5 0 1 2 0 8 15 1
San Francisco 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 11 0

WP B. Lidge (2-0) 4.0IP 0H 0R 0ER 1BB 2K 0HR 0.90 ERA
LP J. Brower(2-1) 2IP 3H 1R 1ER 3BB 0K 0HR 2.70ERA
S B. Wagner(4) 1.0IP 0H 0R 0ER 0BB 0K 0HR 1.00 ERA

Coming into the game, the Giants had won six straight and were looking for their seventh in a row to tie their longest winning streak in the early season.

The Giants tacked up runs in the bottom of the first when Astros second baseman Jeff Kent failed to complete the double play, thus ending the inning, by throwing the ball into the dugout, allowing Rich Aurilia to advance to third. Jose Cruz, Jr. then walked. Catcher Benito Santiago then hit a single to left to score Aurilia. J.T. Snow then slugged a double past left fielder Lance Berkman to score both Cruz and Santiago.

Snow would gather another two-out RBI in the third when he once again doubled to Berkman to score Santiago who had singled.

In the bottom of the fourth, Ray Durham tripled to lead off the inning and came home when Edgardo Alfonzo flied out to center fielder Craig Biggio. That was all the scoring the Giants would do for the rest of the game.

Meanwhile, it seemed like Kirk Rueter was doing what Rueter always did - shutting out the other team. But troubles began in the fifth when Rueter couldn’t find the strike zone. Julio Lugo hit a bunt single, and Rueter walked Raul Chavez on four straight pitches. Biggio then slammed one out to left field, his fourth of the year. Morgan Ensberg and Berkman hit back to back singles, and Kent scored them both, hitting a double to left-center field. Brower then came in for Rueter who pitched 4.1 innings.

The Astros would score again in the seventh and the eighth. With one out in the seventh, Richard Hidalgo doubled, and Orlando Merced singled to score Hidalgo. Rookie Jesse Foppert who made his major league debut just two nights before came in to pitch the eighth. His inning in today’s game was nothing like his debut; Foppert had to face 7 batters, surrendering 3 hits, intentionally walking one, and giving up two runs. With one out and the bases loaded, Hidalgo hit a sacrifice fly to left field. Brad Ausmus then singled to score Jeff Bagwell.

Lefty Chad Zerbe came in to pitch the ninth and sat down the Astros batters, 1-2-3.

Astros closer Billy Wagner got JT Snow to ground out for the last out, averting the sweep.

SFDugout's Player of the Game: On a day where the pitching was off and the bats were barely swinging, JT Snow and Chad Zerbe shone with their stellar performances. Snow went 2-5 with 3 RBI, and Zerbe came in and pitched a perfect ninth. Kudos to them

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