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Castilla, Astros blast struggling Rocker

Vinny Castilla's tiebreaking three-run double in the eighth inning against John Rocker helped the Astros come back from five runs down to beat the Cleveland Indians 10-8 Monday night.

The Astros trailed 6-1 before rallying with three runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and five in the eighth.

Julio Lugo walked against Paul Shuey to lead off the eighth and stole second as Jeff Bagwell struck out. Rocker came in and gave up a double on his first pitch to Lance Berkman to tie the score at 6.

Rocker intentionally walked Moises Alou and gave up a single to Richard Hidalgo to load the bases. Castilla, the former Rays third baseman who finished with four RBI in the game, then cleared the bases with a double to leftfield. Craig Biggio added a run-scoring single, knocking out Rocker.

Rocker has struggled since coming to Cleveland from Atlanta on June 22, blowing two of four save chances and posting an 8.31 ERA. The Indians have lost three straight.

Ron Villone pitched the eighth for the win as the Astros moved within two games of the Cubs in the NL Central.

Billy Wagner allowed a two-run homer in the ninth to Roberto Alomar, his second of the game.

A two-run homer by Kenny Lofton and Alomar's shot off Scott Elarton in the third put Cleveland up 3-0. The Indians made it 6-1 in the fifth on a two-run single by Jim Thome and a run-scoring single by Travis Fryman.

Bagwell led off the bottom half against Charles Nagy with his 25th home run. Castilla added a run-scoring double and Tony Eusebio hit a run-scoring single in the inning to make it 6-4.

Houston cut the Cleveland lead to 6-5 in the sixth when Biggio doubled, went to third on a wild pitch by Danys Baez and scored on Berkman's groundout.

ROYALS 4, CUBS 2: Fred McGriff is not coming to your rescue, Chicago. That means somebody, anybody, has to step up and provide some offense.

Pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth and Kansas City relievers held the host Cubs hitless over the last four innings.

"Maybe I should just put a little mannequin up here," manager Don Baylor said. "Same old thing. It's an absolute struggle. Guys are pressing, trying to do things, taking pitches."

The Cubs managed five hits, giving them 13 in their past three games. They have seven runs in the past four games and are back to searching for offensive help after McGriff exercised his no-trade clause and decided to stay with the Rays.

Chicago's lead in the NL Central, once as high as six games, is down to two over the Astros, the lowest it has been since June 4.

"I just think everybody has to stay within themselves, not try to do too much," said Delino DeShields, who drove in the Cubs' only runs with a double in the fifth. "The guys have been doing it all year, they've just got to remember what it was like when they were going well."

REDS 9, TIGERS 1: Ken Griffey hit two of host Cincinnati's four homers and made a running over-the-shoulder catch as the host Reds won behind rookie starter Lance Davis.

Limited all season by a torn hamstring, Griffey hadn't been able to make the sensational defensive play or put together a big offensive game.

"When we were hanging in there 1-0, I wasn't feeling so good," manager Bob Boone said. "I was saying, "Somebody please hit one,' and Junior hit those two."