HOUSTON -- Andy Pettitte earned a win -- even with his left elbow ailing again.
But Pettitte, who had season-ending elbow surgery last year, departed because of tightness in his left elbow and is day to day. He allowed three hits, struck out four and left with a 3-1 lead.
"We just didn't want to take any more chances," Houston manager Phil Garner said. "He said he felt something after the fifth. I don't think it's anything serious. We fully expect him to take his next start."
To Pettitte's advantage, that won't be for eight days because of the All-Star break. He went nine innings two starts ago against Texas and six innings against Cincinnati last Saturday, and said he felt stronger than he had all season.
"Right when I start running my mouth off about how good my arm feels, something like this happens," Pettitte said.
He considered trying to go out in the sixth.
"I thought I could if I pushed it," he said. "But I've been feeling so good, I didn't want to do anything to set it back."
As for the Padres, they saw more than enough of Pettitte.
"He's always tough. You notice we got back into the game after he went out. It was definitely a good thing for us when he came out," said Robert Fick, who was 0-for-2 against Pettitte and 2-for-2 after he left.
Biggio had a go-ahead RBI double in the sixth inning that pushed him past Roberto Alomar for 50th on the career hits list with 2,725.
"It was nice, especially when it turned out to be such a big run," Biggio said. "We're winning games now. That's the important thing."
The Astros have won seven of eight and 13 of 16 to move ahead of the Chicago Cubs for second place in the NL Central. San Diego, which leads the NL West, lost for the ninth time in 14 games.
Russ Springer, Mike Gallo, Chad Harville and Chad Qualls combined for three innings of relief. With All-Star closer Brad Lidge still working his way back from a sore right biceps, Dan Wheeler got three outs for his third save.
All-Star Jake Peavy (7-3) went 5 2/3 innings for the Padres, allowing five runs and 11 hits. He struck out five.
"He was off a little bit," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He got the ball up in the first inning and made some mistakes. They had a big inning and that turned out to be the difference in the game. He was much better after the first inning."
"Our bullpen did a great job of picking us up," Bochy said. "They gave us an opportunity to win."
Ensberg, who was 2-for-3, also helped Pettitte with diving stops in the first and third.
In the fourth, Brian Giles tripled to right-center and Robert Fick's RBI groundout narrowed Houston's lead to 3-1.
Everett's sixth-inning triple went off the glove of a diving Giles in right-center. Chris Burke punched a single between third and shortstop for a 4-1 lead.
Two outs later, Biggio's double drove in Burke.
Biggio made an error at second base in the seventh, and Sweeney had an RBI groundout. Sweeney scored when he and Damian Jackson pulled off a double steal, making it 5-3.
Eric Young doubled leading off the eighth and moved to third on a wild pitch. Ryan Klesko's liner to left went off Berkman's glove for an error that allowed Young to score and close the gap to 5-4.
|Players of the Game|
New Era Houston Astros Hat
$29.95 Shop Now!
|San Diego Padres|
|Eric Young, 2B||5||1||1||0||0||0||1||.333|
|Khalil Greene, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.253|
|Ryan Klesko, LF||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.266|
|Dave Roberts, PR-CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.275|
|Brian Giles, CF-RF||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.298|
|Robert Fick, C||4||1||2||1||0||0||0||.320|
|Xavier Nady, 1B-RF^LF||3||0||2||0||1||0||0||.266|
|Ben Johnson, RF||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.167|
|a- Mark Sweeney, PH-1B||2||1||0||1||0||0||3||.291|
|Damian Jackson, 3B||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.284|
|Jake Peavy, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.074|
|Chris Hammond, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Geoff Blum, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.240|
|Scott Linebrink, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Akinori Otsuka, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Sean Burroughs, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.255|
|a-hit into fielder's choice for Johnson in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Hammond in the 7th|
|c-flied out for Otsuka in the 9th|
|2B - Eric Young (3, Qualls)|
|3B - Brian Giles (5, Pettitte)|
|RBI - Robert Fick (16), Mark Sweeney (16)|
|SB - Mark Sweeney (2, off Harville/Ausmus), Damian Jackson (10, 3rd base off Harville/Ausmus)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - Robert Fick (2, Wild throw)|
|San Diego Padres|
|Jake Peavy (L,7-3)||5.2||11||5||5||2||5||0||3.14|
|IBB - Ensberg by Jake Peavy|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jake Peavy 119-78, Chris Hammond 2-2, Scott Linebrink 13-9, Akinori Otsuka 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Peavy 4-7, Akinori Otsuka 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Jake Peavy 29, Chris Hammond 1, Scott Linebrink 4, Akinori Otsuka 3|
|Willy Taveras, CF||5||1||3||0||0||0||1||.294|
|Dan Wheeler, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Craig Biggio, 2B||3||0||1||1||1||1||1||.285|
|Lance Berkman, 1B-LF||4||1||1||1||0||0||5||.285|
|Morgan Ensberg, 3B||3||1||1||1||1||1||0||.287|
|Jason Lane, RF||4||0||2||0||0||1||3||.234|
|Adam Everett, SS||4||1||2||1||0||1||1||.249|
|Chris Burke, LF||4||1||1||1||0||2||2||.239|
|Chad Qualls, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Eric Bruntlett, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.186|
|Brad Ausmus, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.242|
|Andy Pettitte, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.080|
|Russ Springer, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Orlando Palmeiro, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.312|
|Mike Gallo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chad Harville, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike Lamb, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.211|
|a-flied out for Springer in the 6th|
|2B - Craig Biggio (25, Peavy), Morgan Ensberg (18, Peavy)|
|3B - Adam Everett (1, Peavy)|
|SH - Andy Pettitte (10)|
|RBI - Craig Biggio (39), Lance Berkman (32), Morgan Ensberg (61), Adam Everett (35), Chris Burke (11)|
|2-OUT RBI - Craig Biggio (18), Adam Everett (18)|
|SB - Willy Taveras (22, 2nd base off Peavy/Fick), Jason Lane (6, 2nd base off Linebrink/Fick), Adam Everett (9, 3rd base off Peavy/Fick)|
|PK - Jason Lane (1, Peavy)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Everett-Berkman, Biggio-Everett-Berkman|
|E - Lance Berkman (4, Dropped fly), Craig Biggio (8, Wild throw), Adam Everett (7, )|
|Andy Pettitte (W,6-7)||5||3||1||1||1||4||0||3.09|
|Russ Springer (H,7)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||5.97|
|Chad Qualls (H,8)||1||2||1||0||1||0||0||4.05|
|Dan Wheeler (S,3)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.73|
|WP - Chad Harville (3), Chad Qualls (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 60-43, Russ Springer 7-5, Mike Gallo 13-9, Chad Harville 16-9, Chad Qualls 22-13, Dan Wheeler 8-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 8-2, Russ Springer 1-1, Mike Gallo 1-0, Chad Harville 1-0, Chad Qualls 2-2, Dan Wheeler 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 18, Russ Springer 3, Mike Gallo 2, Chad Harville 4, Chad Qualls 7, Dan Wheeler 3|
|Attendance - 29774|
|Game Time - 2:42|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Brian O'Nora|