HOUSTON -- Andy Pettitte wouldn't get too excited over his first win since last July.
Pettitte (1-1), who had season-ending elbow surgery Aug. 13, scattered five hits, gave up three runs and struck out five in his fourth start of the season. He last won on July 21 against Arizona. It was also the left-hander's first home win since beating the Mets on May 15.
"Everybody else had a win so I was starting to get a little grouchy," Pettitte said. "It was nice to get the first win on the board after my surgery, but I gave up that home run to (Geoff) Jenkins on a bad pitch. I'm just still dealing with a lot of stuff with my arm. I'm not close to being there. My first few starts, I would tighten up early and then loosen up later in the game. Tonight, I tightened up later."
Pettitte originally hurt his elbow batting in his Astros debut last year, his first in Houston after nine seasons with the New York Yankees. On Thursday, he had a sacrifice fly to give the Astros a 6-1 lead.
Astros manager Phil Garner certainly had no complaints.
"Andy pitched well," Garner said. "He had better velocity this time, though perhaps his control wasn't as good. But I'm glad to see him get a win. He has been throwing well this year. He could very easily have won all of his games."
Trailing 8-3 in the ninth the Brewers rallied for four runs, highlighted by Brady Clark's three-run homer off closer Brad Lidge with two outs. Lidge, who was called on to face Clark, then struck out Junior Spivey for his fifth save.
"As down as our team has been, there was definitely some positives," shortstop J.J. Hardy said. "To get some runs off their better pitchers, it was a great thing for Brady."
Manager Ned Yost agreed.
"There were some good signs out there tonight offensively," Yost said. "We're starting to show some signs of coming out. Not many things are going our way but you see some bright side of the tunnel with the they way we came back."
Doug Davis (2-2) went 5 1/3 innings and allowed six runs -- five earned -- on five hits and four walks for Milwaukee. He struck out four.
Davis loaded the bases in the fourth inning with no outs before getting Chris Burke to pop out for the first out. Brad Ausmus then hit an easy grounder to third baseman Wes Helms, whose throw to second went into center field for an error and gave Houston its first two runs.
Milwaukee got a run back in the fifth inning when Jenkins doubled off the center-field wall, went to third on a groundout and scored on Helms' grounder to third.
The Astros scored four in the sixth inning to go up 6-1. Burke had an RBI double, Ausmus a run-scoring single, Taveras an RBI triple that chased Davis and Pettitte added a sacrifice fly off reliever Wes Obermueller.
Jenkins hit a two-run homer into the Crawford boxes in left in the seventh inning to close it to 6-3. Jenkins finished 2-for-3 with three runs.
Ensberg's RBI single to left stretched the lead to 7-3 in the seventh and Craig Biggio was hit by a pitch from Matt Wise with the bases loaded in the eighth to make it 8-3.
Adam Everett left the game in the eighth inning with a mild strain of his left hamstring. He is day to day. ... It was the first time Pettitte faced the Brewers since shutting them out April 22, 1997. ... After not having a left-handed relief performance in 2004, the Brewers have 12 this season, six by Tommy Phelps and six by Jorge De La Rosa, including his appearance Thursday. ... Jeff Bagwell went 0-for-2 against Davis and is 2-for-23 lifetime against him.