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Houston «1220000207121
Milwaukee002000102582

Pettitte wins No. 15 as Astros cling to wild-card lead

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

MILWAUKEE -- Andy Pettitte knows there is a reason he has been a 15-game winner seven times in his career.

"I played for the Yankees for nine years," he said. "When you make 34 starts for that team, you are going to win a lot of ballgames. If I stay healthy and make my starts for any team I play on I should be able to win."

Pettitte allowed three runs in 6 2/3 innings Saturday night for his fifth straight victory as the Houston Astros held off the Milwaukee Brewers 7-5. Houston remained a half-game ahead of the Florida Marlins in the NL wild-card race.

Pettitte (15-9) improved to 4-0 against the Brewers this season and is 9-2 in 12 starts since the All-Star break. He also helped himself at the plate, scoring a run in the second and driving in a run with a suicide squeeze in the third.

The left-hander was limited to a career-low six wins -- his only year in single digits -- in an injury-shortened 2004 season.

"Andy pitched very well," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "He's actually pitched with more velocity than he had tonight, and a little bit better control, but he's pitched well the whole year."

Rickie Weeks and pinch-hitter Prince Fielder had run-scoring hits in the ninth before Brad Lidge got two outs for his 20th straight save and 36th in 39 chances.

Pettitte's only major blemish came in the third, when Corey Hart, pinch hitting for the ineffective Tomo Ohka, hit the first pitch he saw into the left-field bullpen for a two-run homer.

"He's as tough as they come," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "He doesn't make mistakes."

Ohka (10-8) gave up five runs, six hits and three walks in three innings for the Brewers (70-72), who were trying to get back to .500 for the first time since Aug. 7.

"He just struggled," Yost said. "They didn't hit the ball hard, but they found holes. They put five runs on the board on him quick."

Craig Biggio had three hits for Houston, including his 600th double in the second inning. Lance Berkman added a two-run homer in the eighth, his 19th, to seal the victory.

"Obviously, 600 doubles is a heck of a lot of doubles," Biggio said. "I am real proud of it. I remember hitting 500 at home, and who knows if you are ever going to get to 600?"

Houston scored five runs in the first three innings.

Luke Scott snapped an 0-for-16 slide with a bloop RBI single in the first to make it 1-0.

Houston added two more in the second. Pettitte reached on Weeks' error with two outs. Willy Taveras then singled and both runners scored on Biggio's double to the right-center field gap.

Houston made it 5-0 in the third. Berkman drew a leadoff walk and Mike Lamb walked with one out. Adam Everett doubled to score Berkman and Ohka walked Brad Ausmus intentionally to load the bases.

Pettitte's pop-up bunt attempt landed in front of the charging Ohka to score Lamb. It was the third RBI of the season for Pettitte, who entered play hitting .100 with five hits in 50 at-bats.

The Brewers added a run off Pettitte in the seventh on a two-out RBI single by pinch-hitter Jeff Cirillo. Chad Qualls relieved Pettitte and walked Brady Clark, but got J.J. Hardy to pop out to end the inning.

"I didn't feel like I had great stuff tonight as far as velocity and stuff like that," Pettitte said. "I just went with what I had and tried to keep it down and stay away from their power."

Notes

  • Biggio is the 13th player in major league history with 600 doubles. He is also the only player in baseball history to have 600 doubles, 2,700 hits, 250 home runs and 400 stolen bases.
  • Scott left the game after crashing full speed into the wall trying to rob Hart of his home run. He suffered a bruised hip and is day-to-day.
  • Pettitte, Roger Clemens and Roy Oswalt are 32-12 combined after the All-Star break.
  • Astros 3B Morgan Ensberg (hand) missed his fourth consecutive game.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Andy Pettitte's victory gives him a 9-2 record in 12 starts since the All-Star break.  (AP)
Andy Pettitte's victory gives him a 9-2 record in 12 starts since the All-Star break. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

C. Biggio
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Houston

L. Berkman
AB 4
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Houston Astros
Willy Taveras, CF5220012 .293
Craig Biggio, 2B5032000 .268
Luke Scott, LF3011002 .164
    Chris Burke, LF2110001 .244
Lance Berkman, 1B4212102 .293
Jason Lane, RF5000014 .258
Mike Lamb, 3B4120112 .214
    Eric Bruntlett, 3B0000000 .193
Adam Everett, SS5011002 .245
Brad Ausmus, C3010201 .261
Andy Pettitte, P3101003 .094
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
   a- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000001 .301
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
Totals4071274320 
a-grounded out for Qualls in the 9th
Batting
2B - Craig Biggio (36, Ohka), Adam Everett (26, Ohka)
HR - Lance Berkman (19, Davis)
SH - Andy Pettitte (14)
RBI - Craig Biggio 2 (58), Luke Scott (4), Lance Berkman 2 (65), Adam Everett (49), Andy Pettitte (3)
2-OUT RBI - Craig Biggio 2 (26), Lance Berkman 2 (27)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Berkman
E - Craig Biggio (13, misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
Andy Pettitte (W,15-9) 6.2533141 2.48
Chad Qualls (H,17) 1.1000110 3.31
Dan Wheeler 0.1222000 2.42
Brad Lidge (S,36) 0.2100010 2.26
HBP - Jenkins (by Andy Pettitte)
WP - Brad Lidge (8)
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 102-65, Chad Qualls 16-10, Dan Wheeler 14-10, Brad Lidge 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 11-5, Chad Qualls 2-1
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 27, Chad Qualls 5, Dan Wheeler 3, Brad Lidge 3
Milwaukee Brewers
Brady Clark, CF4010111 .309
J.J. Hardy, SS5010004 .237
Lyle Overbay, 1B4000011 .273
Carlos Lee, LF4000001 .272
Geoff Jenkins, RF3000021 .290
    Chris Magruder, RF0000000 .197
Bill Hall, 3B4220000 .269
Rickie Weeks, 2B3211112 .246
Damian Miller, C4000013 .257
Tomo Ohka, P0000000 .111
   a- Corey Hart, PH1112000 .208
    Wes Obermueller, P1000000 .214
   b- Jeff Cirillo, PH1011000 .278
    Kane Davis, P0000000 .000
   c- Prince Fielder, PH1011000 .310
Totals355852613 
a-homered for Ohka in the 3rd
b-singled for Obermueller in the 7th
c-singled for Davis in the 9th
Batting
2B - Bill Hall 2 (31, Pettitte, Wheeler), Rickie Weeks (10, Wheeler)
3B - J.J. Hardy (1, Pettitte)
HR - Corey Hart (2, Pettitte)
RBI - Rickie Weeks (38), Corey Hart 2 (6), Jeff Cirillo (16), Prince Fielder (10)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Cirillo (4)
SB - Bill Hall (17, 3rd base off Wheeler/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - J.J. Hardy (10, throwing error), Rickie Weeks (15, misplayed grounder)
Milwaukee Brewers
Tomo Ohka (L,10-8) 3653320 4.03
Wes Obermueller 4400000 4.65
Kane Davis 2222111 3.86
IBB - Ausmus by Tomo Ohka
Pitches-Strikes - Tomo Ohka 78-45, Wes Obermueller 53-38, Kane Davis 48-31
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tomo Ohka 6-2, Wes Obermueller 6-7, Kane Davis 3-2
Batters Faced - Tomo Ohka 19, Wes Obermueller 17, Kane Davis 9
Game Information
Attendance - 24437
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Ted Barrett, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Rick Reed, Third Base - Rob Drake