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Original Issue

Houston Honchos

Last Winter, having lost free-agent ace Randy Johnson to the
Diamondbacks, the Astros made a run at American League Cy Young
Award winner Roger Clemens but found his asking price, a
reported $15 million a season, too high. Lucky Houston: At
bargain rates, the Astros' holdover top three
starters--righthander Shane Reynolds ($3.5 million), lefthander
Mike Hampton ($4.0 million) and righthander Jose Lima ($1.95
million)--had a lower combined ERA through Sunday than any other
current top starting threesome in the majors. Here are the five
top trios.

Team Top Three Starters Wins Losses ERA

Astros Shane Reynolds, Mike Hampton, Jose Lima 22 9 3.34
Royals Kevin Appier, Jose Rosado, Jeff Suppan 12 12 3.48
Phillies Curt Schilling, Paul Byrd, Chad Ogea 18 9 3.48
White Sox Mike Sirotka, John Snyder, Jim Parque 16 15 3.53
Cubs Kevin Tapani, Jon Lieber, Steve Trachsel 12 10 3.56

--David Sabino