Rockies respect Biggio's milestone

Rockies respect Biggio's milestone

HOUSTON -- Craig Biggio's 3,000th hit on Thursday night will be frozen in time, but No. 3,002 burned the Rockies the way the veteran has tormented so many other teams.

With the Astros down to their last out in the bottom of the 11th, Biggio topped the ball and used speed and heart to beat out a throw from strong-armed rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Three batters later, Biggio was trotting home on Carlos Lee's game-winning grand slam off Brian Fuentes for an 8-5 Astros victory.

The Rockies had to swallow their seventh straight loss, but manager Clint Hurdle had no problem finding tasteful words for Biggio, who went 5-for-6 and matched his career high for hits in a game. He notched five on Opening Day 2001 against the Brewers.

"For an opposing player, I don't think there are many other people in the game I'd be happier for," Hurdle said. "I've been watching him from the other side of the field for a long time.

"He's a pro. He does things the right way. It was wonderful to see how the crowd embraced him. He's been good for baseball. He's been good for the Astros organization."

Three singles came off Aaron Cook, including the one that touched off a seventh-inning celebration of his career, during which his family and former Astros lineup partner Jeff Bagwell were on the field, along with the current squad.

The historic hit also was a hustle play, even though it didn't work as well as the one later in the game.

With two out, Biggio singled to center field to drive in Brad Ausmus from second and tie the game, 1-1. Rockies center fielder Willy Taveras, a former Biggio teammate who credits the veteran for mentoring him, threw out Biggio at second.

Cook had his sinker working and held the Astros to one run on seven hits. But after getting Biggio to ground to third base to lead off the first inning, he couldn't stop Biggio.

"He's been out there, whether he's hurt, sick, whatever," Cook said. "He's just a gamer. To see him reach 3,000 hits, my hat's off to him. I kind of wish it wouldn't have been me, but definitely giving up a hit like that in somebody's career is not something you feel bad about.

"If he'd stopped at 3,000, it would've been fine."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.