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Kent has six RBI in Astros' win over Cubs

HOUSTON (AP) -- Jeff Kent had a simple explanation for his
six-RBI night for Houston on Tuesday.

"If you don't have faith in yourself, why play this dumb
game?" Kent said. "You've got to believe that you're better. It
might not be that day, but you have to believe every day."

Kent went 3-for-5 with a homer and a double, missing his career
high by one RBI as the Astros beat the Chicago Cubs 12-8.

With the win, Houston remained a game ahead of St. Louis in the
NL Central. The Cardinals beat Pittsburgh 13-5.

Chicago dropped into third place, 1{ games back.

Manager Jimy Williams shuffled Houston's lineup Tuesday -- Lance
Berkman hit second for the first time since his rookie season of
2000. Jeff Bagwell hit third, ahead of Kent.

"Kent had a big big night, but the other guys gave him the
opportunities that he took advantage of," Houston manager Jimy
Williams said. "Berkman and Bagwell were on base every time he got
up there."

Neither starter lasted into the fifth. Jeriome Robertson allowed
five runs on five hits in three innings, while Chicago's Matt
Clement (10-11) pitched four innings, giving up eight runs on eight
hits. Clement struck out three and walked four.

"It was a poor inexcusable disappointing job by myself,"
Clement said. "I feel like I lost this game. My teammates gave me
the runs to work with and I let them down."

With the game tied at 5 in the fourth, Kent followed walks to
Lance Berkman and Jeff Bagwell with a three-run homer, his 18th of
the season.

Houston increased its lead to 12-5 in the sixth on a two-run
double by Kent and RBI singles by Richard Hidalgo and Adam Everett.

The Cubs made it 12-8 in the seventh on Alex Gonzalez's two-run
homer, his 17th, and an RBI single by Randall Simon.

Dan Miceli (1-2) got the win, giving up just one hit over two
scoreless innings.

Chicago took a 3-0 lead in the first on a three-run homer by
Aramis Ramirez, his 17th.

But Houston scored four times in the bottom half. Berkman
singled and moved to third on Bagwell's single. Kent's single drove
in Berkman, and Bagwell scored on a wild pitch. After a walk to
Richard Hidalgo, Geoff Blum hit a two-run double.

The Cubs regained the lead in the third when Kenny Lofton
singled and scored on Alou's 19th homer.

Houston tied it in the bottom half on an RBI single by Gregg
Zaun.

Game notes
Kent extended his hitting streak to 13 games. He has driven
in seven runs twice, most recently on May 1, 2001, at Pittsburgh.
... Bagwell is tied with Sammy Sosa for the most home runs since
the All-Star break with 13.