LOS ANGELES (AP) – Jeff Kent became the first player to hit 300 home runs as a second baseman, Jose Cruz Jr. had three RBIs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers scored five runs in the first inning against All-Star Roy Oswalt in an 8-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday night.

Edwin Jackson (1-1) pitched 5 1-3 innings and allowed three runs and six hits, including a three-run homer by Chris Burke that chased the rookie right-hander who was staked to a 7-0 lead. Jackson, recalled from Double-A Jacksonville on Aug. 22, after Odalis Perez went on the disabled list, stranded four runners in scoring position.

Oswalt (15-11) allowed seven runs and nine hits in four-plus innings, his shortest outing this season and the first time in 21 starts that he failed to go at least six. The right-hander, who last year was the only NL pitcher to win 20 games, is 1-3 with a 2.94 ERA over his last six starts after going 8-1 with a 1.29 ERA in his previous nine outings.

One night after watching teammate Andy Pettitte strike out the side in the first inning on 12 pitches, Oswalt failed to record an out until his 27th pitch, and did not retire any of his first seven batters. The Dodgers parlayed five hits and three walks – two with the bases loaded – into a five-run inning.

Antonio Perez started it with a triple into the right field corner. He was prevented from trying for an inside-the-park home run by third base coach Glenn Hoffman as the crowd groaned. Oscar Robles followed with a double, Kent singled and Jason Phillips doubled home a run. Oswalt forced home another with a walk to Cruz, Dioner Navarro had an RBI single, and Jackson walked with the bases loaded after No.8 hitter Jose Valentin flied to right for the first out.

Oswalt surrendered hits to the first three batters in the fifth, including a two-run double by Cruz that chased the first-time All-Star. Cruz, the son of the Astros’ first-base coach, is 11-for-30 with six RBIs when his father is in the other dugout. The younger Cruz spent the 2003 season with San Francisco.

Kent made it 8-3 in the sixth against Mike Burns with a two-out solo homer, his 23rd this season and 325th of his 14-year career. The five-time All-Star spent the previous two seasons with the Astros and ended Game 5 of last year’s NL Championship Series with a three-run homer in the ninth inning.

Notes: Roger Clemens, who takes a major league-leading 1.56 ERA into Sunday’s start, would have to throw a shutout in each of his eight remaining starts just to break Hall of Famer Bob Gibson’s major league record 1.12 ERA by one percentage point. … Houston 1B Jeff Bagwell, who has missed the last 105 games because of a shoulder injury that required surgery on June 7, took about 50 swings during batting practice. “It was a little sore to start with, but the more I went, the better it felt,” said Bagwell, who could begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi as early as Tuesday. … Astros RHP Brandon Backe is going to begin a rehab assignment with Corpus Christi on Monday and throw 45-50 pitches. He is slated for at least one more start with the Hooks after that before he is re-evaluated.

AP-ES-08-28-05 0042EDT

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