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This Day In Astros History: Aug. 11, 1987

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On this day, 24 years ago, the Astros beat the Giants 7-3 in Candlestick Park. 

What's notable about this game? For one, one of the Astros first overall picks started this game. Jeff Heathcock started his second game of the '87 season in this one. Wait, you say, Heathcock wasn't a first overall pick. I've checked Baseball Reference. Darryl Strawberry was the first overall pick in 1980. You'd be right about that. Houston's only picked No. 1 overall twice in franchise history, in '76 when they picked Floyd Bannister and again in '92 when they took Phil Nevin.

Heathcock was taken first overall in 1980, but it was in the June secondary draft. There were also January and January secondary drafts, at least until 1986. Basically, teams just kept picking players all year long. They weren't all scrubs, either. Other No. 1 overall picks in the June secondary draft were Dave Kingman, Denny Walling, Kevin Towers and Oddibe McDowell.

But, I digress, so let's get back to this game. Heathcock had a brief career with Houston, playing in parts of four seasons and starting 13 games. He only started one more game after this one but pitched in 31 more in relief. Heathcock had a 3.16 ERA in 42 2/3 innings in '87 with 15 strikeouts and nine walks. In this particular game, Heathcock threw 7 1/3 innings, giving up nine hits, three runs and one walk while striking out two. Juan Agosto and Larry Anderson closed the game out, with Agosto picking up a hold and Anderson getting his third save of the season.

Jose Cruz was the star of the offense, hitting two home runs and going 3 for 5 with four RBIs. Craig Reynolds also hit a home run, going 2 for 4 while Alan Ashby went 2 for 5. Reynolds led off the crucial seventh inning with a solo homer to give the Astros a 3-2 lead. Cruz' homer two batters later scored Billy Hatcher and Billy Doran to give Houston a 6-2 lead and the victory.

Here's a graphic replay of the game, thanks to Back to Baseball.