While Roger Clemens was winning yet another game, Houston general manager Gerry Hunsicker was busy getting him more help.
Clemens became the first 10-game winner in the majors, pitching Houston to a 3-2 victory Thursday over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on a big night all around for the Astros.
During the game, Houston acquired star center fielder Carlos Beltran from Kansas City as part of a three-way trade that also sent closer Octavio Dotel from the Astros to Oakland.
``This is obviously huge for our organization,'' Hunsicker said. ``Carlos Beltran is one of the most exciting, complete players in our game today.
``He's the prototype we've been looking for for a long time. He's going to be a very exciting force for us in the middle of our lineup.''
The Royals wound up with three prospects: highly touted third baseman Mark Teahen and right-hander Mike Wood from Oakland, and catcher John Buck from the Astros.
Beltran can become a free agent this fall _ but for now, he gives fourth-place Houston one of the most talented players in baseball to go along with a hard-throwing rotation and an experienced lineup.
The Astros hope Beltran will join the team in time for Friday night's game at Texas.
``They're trying to give us that little extra edge,'' said Craig Biggio, who probably will shift from center field to left to make room for Beltran. ``It's going to be fun.''
In other NL games, it was: San Francisco 9, Los Angeles 3; St. Louis 4, Chicago 0; Montreal 3, Philadelphia 2; Cincinnati 6, New York 2; Colorado 3, Milwaukee 0; and Atlanta 9, Florida 4.
Clemens (10-2) earned his 320th win, moving within four of Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton for 12th place on the career list. The Rocket allowed two runs _ one earned _ and four hits in seven innings. He also had four strikeouts, giving him 4,200 for his career, second only to Ryan's 5,714.
``Those first nine wins weren't as easy as they looked to some people,'' Clemens said. ``Tonight wasn't easy, either. It's a long road and sometimes you just try to stay the course.''
Morgan Ensberg singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, and Brad Lidge got three outs for his third save.
The trade of Dotel leaves Lidge as the closer _ for now. Asked if Houston might bring in an experienced relief ace, Hunsicker cracked a smile and said: ``We'll see what tomorrow brings.''
Pittsburgh has lost 15 of 18.
Giants 9, Dodgers 3
At San Francisco, A.J. Pierzynski had two run-scoring doubles, Marquis Grissom homered and the Giants won their sixth straight to complete a four-game sweep of their rivals.
The game also featured the second bench-clearing scuffle in two days. San Francisco's Michael Tucker and Dodgers closer Eric Gagne were ejected in the eighth inning for nearly starting a brawl after Tucker dived away from a high pitch by the NL Cy Young Award winner.
Brett Tomko (2-4) returned from the disabled list to pitch six innings of three-hit ball for his first victory since April 28. The Giants won for the 15th time in 16 home games, increasing their lead to 2 1/2 games over Los Angeles in the NL West.
Hideo Nomo (3-9) lost his eighth straight decision for the Dodgers, who have dropped five of six.
Braves 9, Marlins 4
At Miami, Chipper Jones, J.D. Drew and Nick Green drove in two runs apiece for Atlanta, which avoided being swept in a series for the first time this season.
Drew doubled twice and tripled as Atlanta snapped a three-game losing streak. The Braves roughed up Dontrelle Willis (6-5) and won for just the second time in eight games.
Mike Hampton (2-7) settled down after a shaky first inning and won for the first time in five starts.
Florida will put pitcher Josh Beckett on the disabled list Friday because of a strained back muscle.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 0
At St. Louis, Chris Carpenter (8-2) threw eight sharp innings and had two hits and an RBI. The NL Central leaders took two of three from their closest competition, and lead the division by three games.
The Cardinals, who scored all their runs in the fourth with the help of an error by shortstop Rey Ordonez, are 29-8 against the Cubs at Busch Stadium since 2000.
Matt Clement (7-6) allowed four runs in six innings.
Reds 6, Mets 2
At New York, Mike Cameron lost Ken Griffey Jr.'s bases-loaded fly to center in the sun, allowing three runs to score in Cincinnati's five-run seventh.
Cameron's error foiled a strong start by Tom Glavine (7-4), who leads the majors with a 2.11 ERA. Cory Lidle (5-5) allowed two runs in eight innings. Jose Reyes hit his first homer of the season for the Mets.
Expos 3, Phillies 2
At Montreal, Tony Armas Jr. (1-2) pitched six scoreless innings for his first win in 14 months and Tony Batista hit a two-run homer off Eric Milton (9-2).
Rockies 3, Brewers 0
At Milwaukee, Mark Sweeney hit a two-run homer to help last-place Colorado win its second road series of the season. Aaron Cook (2-2) beat Ben Sheets (6-5), and Shawn Chacon got his 15th save.