Roger Clemens was hit hard for the first time this season. His bullpen was no better.
Clemens lasted only five innings in his worst National League outing, but avoided the loss because of Houston's comeback. The Cincinnati Reds then topped it with one of their own for an 8-7 victory last night at home.
Sean Casey and Ken Griffey Jr. had run-scoring doubles in the eighth off Brad Lidge (0-1) for Cincinnati's seventh victory in eight games, pushing the Reds a season-high six games over .500.
With that, the Reds also forced a three-way tie atop the NL Central with the Astros and Cubs.
The only thing that didn't slip away from the Astros was The Rocket's streak.
It's been a long time since Clemens has been the losing pitcher. The six-time Cy Young winner has won his last 11 decisions in the regular season, a streak that started Sept. 11. He didn't lose for the Yankees in the playoffs, either.
The Astros had to dig deep to maintain his record at 7-0.
Clemens gave up a season-high six runs in his shortest outing since switching leagues. He warmed his famous fastball up to 95 mph, but couldn't keep an inspired team down.
"It was disappointing," said Clemens, who threw a season-high 105 pitches. "I have to be better than that next time. I felt I let the team down."
Adam Dunn's two-run double in the third inning set the tone and pumped up the crowd of 41,890, the Reds' first full house since Opening Day.
* DODGERS 7, BRAVES 4: Jeff Weaver took a shutout into the eighth inning and visiting Los Angeles ended an eight-game losing streak.
Jason Grabowski hit a two-run homer in the Dodgers' four-run third inning. Alex Cora added a solo shot in the seventh, helping Los Angeles win for the first time since beating the Cubs on May 12.
* CUBS 7, CARDINALS 1: Glendon Rusch filled in just fine as a spot starter for Chicago, which scored four times in the first inning of a victory at Wrigley Field.
In his second start for injured ace Kerry Wood, Rusch (2-0) allowed six hits and struck out nine in 72/3 strong innings.
* MARLINS 11, DIAMONDBACKS 2: In Miami, Luis Castillo's first career grand slam capped an eight-run third inning, leading Florida.
Alex Gonzalez had two hits and two RBI, and Miguel Cabrera and Hee Seop Choi each drove in two runs for the Marlins, who won their third straight.
* PADRES 9, PHILLIES 6: Brian Giles homered for the third straight game and his aggressive slide in the sixth inning forced a two-run error, leading visiting San Diego.
Justin Germano went five innings for the win in his first major league appearance. Germano allowed four runs, five hits and four walks, but struck out five.
* GIANTS 7, EXPOS 2: In San Juan, Puerto Rico, Barry Bonds drove in the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice ground ball with the bases loaded in the 11th inning and A.J. Pierzynski followed with a grand slam to lead San Francisco.
* PIRATES 3, BREWERS 1: Josh Fogg allowed one run into the seventh inning, and host Pittsburgh broke a tie in the sixth, when it scored two runs without a hit.
* METS 5, ROCKIES 4: Ty Wigginton hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning to rally New York at home.