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Pettitte blanks Brewers for 6 innings after missing last start

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Once Andy Pettitte was convinced his arm was
sound, he only worried about pitching.

Pettitte pitched six shutout innings and the Houston Astros won
a road series for the first time this year with a 2-1 victory over
the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

Pettitte (3-5) missed his last start due to tightness in his
left elbow, but snapped a personal three-game losing streak to win
for the first time since May 2. He gave up consecutive hits to
begin the game, but did not allow another hit until the sixth
inning.

The left-hander said he started the game pitching tentatively,
but realized he needed to pitch aggressively after the first two
batters reached.

"I was feeling for it a little bit the first couple of hitters.
Basically, I guess, not wanting it to tighten up on me," he said.
"Then it was just, 'You're going to have to throw it."

With runners on second and third and no outs, Pettitte retired
Geoff Jenkins, Carlos Lee and Damian Miller in order.

"You're not going to get a ton of chances against a guy like
Pettitte," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "In those situations,
you have to at least get one."

Dan Wheeler pitched the seventh and the eighth. Brad Lidge
allowed hits to his first two batters in the ninth, but got Lee to
pop out and Miller to hit into a double play to end the game,
completing the six-hitter and earning his 10th save in 12 chances.

"It was not how you draw it up, but we got it done," Lidge
said.

Houston had only five hits but improved to 5-22 on the road by
winning two of three from the Brewers. The Astros lost their first
eight road series of the year.

"Our team is playing a lot better right now," said Lidge,
whose team returns to Houston for a six-game homestand against
Cincinnati and St. Louis.

Mike Lamb hit his second home run of the season in the first off
Chris Capuano (4-4) to give Houston a 1-0 lead.

Brady Clark singled and Junior Spivey doubled to open the bottom
of the first, but Jenkins, hitting .191 with runners in scoring
position, struck out. Pettitte then got Lee to pop out and struck
out Miller to end the inning.

"That was big," Pettitte said.

The Brewers didn't get another runner into scoring position off
Pettitte. The left-hander threw 78 pitches in six innings, giving
up only three hits and one walk while striking out eight.

Pettitte made a key offensive play to help Houston make it 2-0
in the fifth. Brad Ausmus walked, and moved to second on Pettitte's
sacrifice bunt.

With two outs, Eric Bruntlett hit a line drive to center. Clark,
Milwaukee's center fielder, left his feet in a dive, but missed the
ball and it rolled to the wall for a triple, scoring Ausmus.

Clark said he would not have dived for the ball had Ausmus still
been at first, instead likely holding Bruntlett to a single.

"It was a do-or-die situation," Clark said. "With the way
Pettitte was pitching, I was trying to stop the run from scoring."

Pinch-hitter Chris Magruder hit his second homer of the year off
Wheeler in the eighth.

Capuano again was plagued by a lack of run support. In his last
four starts, the Brewers have scored only five runs.

The left-hander pitched 7 2-3 innings, giving up two runs and
five hits. He walked four and struck out five.

Game notes
It was the first time the Astros won a road series since
Sept. 24-26, when they also took two of three in Milwaukee. ...
Capuano has given up at least one home run in seven of his last
eight starts. ... Brewers 1B Lyle Overbay was given the day off
with Pettitte on the mound. Overbay is hitting .195 against
left-handers. ... Houston's Craig Biggio was out of the starting
lineup for the second consecutive game. He has been bothered by a
sore hip, and pinch-hit in the seventh. ... Brewers INF Bill Hall
made his first start of the season at third. He also has started at
second and shortstop.