SAN DIEGO -- Roy Oswalt went from cruising to hurting. He got the game-winning hit, but didn't get the win.
The Houston Astros' ace was one out away from qualifying for his sixth straight victory when he was forced out of Saturday night's 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres with a strained left oblique. Slugger Carlos Lee left two innings earlier with a strained right hip flexor.
"Yeah it concerns me," manager Phil Garner said. "Obviously they're our horses. We'll get through it."
Garner said the two players, both listed as day-to-day, aren't candidates for the disabled list "as of right now."
Oswalt didn't know if the injury would sideline him for long, but he was sure of one thing -- "The way it feels right now -- it don't feel great," he said. "This is the first oblique I've had. I don't think I tore it, but it doesn't feel well."
Oswalt said he first felt something near his rib cage on his last pitch of the third inning, a curveball to Geoff Blum. Oswalt batted with two outs in the fourth and beat out an infield RBI single to give the Astros a 3-0 lead.
"I went through the fourth and told them I want to stay out there and see if I could get through two more innings," Oswalt said. "Made it through the fourth and thought I could have made it through the fifth.
"For three innings I felt as good as I can feel," Oswalt said. "My mechanics were great, the ball was coming out of my hand real well. It's tough to come out of the game when you throw great."
The Padres, who had five hits off Oswalt, failed to benefit from having Oswalt out of the game. Four Astros relievers allowed only one walk the rest of the way.
"I wish I could have gotten one more out, the way they threw," Oswalt said.
"Not scoring enough runs is a bad deal," said San Diego's Morgan Ensberg, who was acquired from Houston on July 31. "We haven't been consistent enough. We have to find a way to push more runs across, especially when we pitch well."
It was a painful night as well for the Padres, who fell a season-high five games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Padres, trying to win their third straight NL West title, remained tied with Philadelphia for the wild-card lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Oswalt was visited on the mound by Garner and a team trainer following a pitch to Mike Cameron. He remained in the game but was pulled after allowing consecutive RBI singles by Brian Giles and Blum that pulled the Padres to 3-2. Dave Borkowski (3-3) came on and got Cameron to fly out, then pitched a perfect sixth, with two strikeouts.
Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 16 chances.
Oswalt had been exceptional until the fifth, scattering three hits in four scoreless innings. His only walk was with one out in the fifth to Pete Laforest, who was sacrificed and scored on Giles' single to right. Giles took second on right fielder Lance Berkman's throw home and scored on Blum's single to left.
Oswalt came in having won his previous five starts, in which he had a 0.82 ERA. It was the first time in six starts that the right-hander allowed more than one run. He struck out four.
Germano lost for the seventh time in eight decisions since winning his first five decisions. He allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, struck out three and walked two.
- Four members of the 3,000-hit club got together in the Astros clubhouse shortly before game time. Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn, David Winfield and Rod Carew congratulated the newest member of the club, Houston's Craig Biggio. Biggio didn't start but got a pinch-hit single in the seventh, his 3,032nd hit. He's 21 away from tying Carew (3,053) for 21st on the career list.
- Astros rookie OF Hunter Pence, on the disabled list since July 23 with a sprained right wrist, played his first game of a rehab assignment on Saturday night for Triple-A Round Rock. He went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.
- Padres LF Milton Bradley took batting practice and ran the bases, but remains out with a strained right hamstring. Manager Bud Black said Bradley's "doing better," but declined to say when he might start again.