Grand day all around for Biggio
Veteran belts dramatic grand slam after announcing retirement
HOUSTON -- In his retirement announcement earlier Tuesday, Craig Biggio said several times that he felt comfortable going out on his own terms and leaving the game while still a productive player.
On Tuesday night, Biggio proved it by again showing a flair for the dramatic, adding yet another chapter to a storybook season and career for the soon-to-be Hall of Famer.
With the score tied and the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Biggio ripped a pitch from Rudy Seanez to deep left, the ball soaring to the back of the Crawford Boxes for the game-winning grand slam in a 7-4 Astros victory over the Dodgers. That capped a six-run inning in the come-from-behind victory.
Earlier in the day, Biggio's teammates said his career was defined by a desire to win. On one of his career's most notable days, Biggio's blast let him and his teammates celebrate in the most fitting way: with a 'W.'
"It was crazy," Biggio said. "What do you say? I still think I'm going to die early because of what's happened this year. It was a magical day, topped off by an unbelievable ending. It didn't even feel like I was touching the bases sometimes."
Mike Lamb drew a two-out walk to load the bases and the crowd of 38,247 rose to its feet, screaming, "B-G-O" and waiting on its hero to do something special.
Much like when he had five hits for the first time in more than six years on the night he joined the 3,000 hit club, Biggio was indeed special, delivering just the fourth grand slam in his storied 20-year career.
Morgan Ensberg joked that the slam was so perfect that Biggio should've called it a career right then and there.
"You hit home plate, you put your head down and you run directly down the right-field line, out of the stadium, up the stairs, into your car and go home and just love your family," Ensberg said. "You step on home plate, and get out of here. If I ever get a chance to end my career and hit a home run, I'm going to hit home plate and run right out of the stadium."
Biggio's hit wouldn't have meant as much without Ensberg. The Astros trailed, 3-1, to open the sixth, but Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee opened the inning with a single and double, respectively, to put two in scoring position with none out. The third baseman then roped a double down the third-base line to score both. And after Jason Lane and Lamb each drew walks, Ensberg scored the go-ahead run on Biggio's slam.
"It was great to do something positive," Ensberg said. "It's been a very difficult year for me, and it's easy to give up, but I refuse to do that. It was great to have that ball inch down that line. I can't tell you how happy I was."
Starter Jason Jennings (2-6) struggled early but buckled down after giving up three runs in the second. He didn't allow another hit for the remainder of his six-inning start and dealt his first quality start of July, yielding three runs on three hits before leaving for a pinch-hitter in the Astros' six-run sixth. It was his first win in more than a month and only his second of the season.
"I'm making good strides," Jennings said. "I gave up three runs early, but I kept us close. I pitched a lot better after the runs were given up and I gave the offense a chance."
Brad Lidge worked a scoreless ninth to earn his fourth save of the year. The day and night, however, all belonged to Biggio.
"Special, special night," Biggio said. "It's kind of nuts. Unbelievable."
Ben DuBose is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.