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Lidge saves Pettitte's win as Astros edge Brewers

HOUSTON (AP) -- Andy Pettitte wouldn't get too excited over his
first win since last July.

Pettitte pitched seven strong innings, Willy Taveras had an RBI
triple and the Houston Astros held on for an 8-7 victory over the
Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night.

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.

Game notes
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.