The Astros activated Jeff Bagwell from the 15-day disabled list yesterday before the opener of a three-game series against the Brewers.

The 37-year-old first baseman was placed on the DL with a right shoulder sprain, retroactive to May 4. He underwent successful capsular release surgery on the right shoulder on June 7. Several small bone chips were also removed from the area.

"I wouldn't say that I'm all the way back," he said after missing 115 games. "I'm just pinch-hitting. I feel that I'm capable of doing that and giving Gar [Manager Phil Garner] an option here or there.

"Am I at full strength? No chance, but I think I'd be good enough where I could help."

The Astros had a half-game lead over Florida in the NL wild-card race entering last night's games.

"I really pushed myself to come back as quick as I could, so I could help," Bagwell said. "We are in a pennant race."

He hit .250 with three home runs and 15 RBI in 24 games before the injury.

* E. PEREZ RETURNS: C Eddie Perez was activated off the 60-day DL by the Braves, who designated RHP Adam Bernero for assignment.

Perez has been out all but one day since May 19 with tendinitis in his right shoulder. He hit .216 with two homers and six RBI in 12 games before heading to the DL.

-- From News Services

Jeff Bagwell, who had shoulder surgery on June 7, has played in only 24 games this season but could give Houston a lift.