Bullpen blows Pettitte masterpiece as Astros fall to Brewers

HOUSTON (AP) -- Andy Pettitte is becoming this year's version of Roger Clemens: When he pitches, the Houston Astros don't get too many runs.

Pettitte lost to the Brewers for the first time since 1996 despite allowing only two runs in Milwaukee's 7-2 victory over the Astros on Wednesday night.

"We went through this all last year," Pettitte said. "The offense is what it is. I feel like I should throw a shutout every time out. If I give up two runs and we score one, then I didn't do my job."

Coming off a 5-1 loss at Arizona, Pettitte (1-3) struck out eight and walked one in seven innings, allowing seven hits. Houston has scored 12 runs in his four starts -- seven came in his lone victory, against Washington on April 9.

Pettitte gave up a go-ahead double to Damian Miller in the

"No matter what we're doing offensively, I should pitch better," Pettitte said. "I knew Chris was going to throw a good game tonight. He has great stuff. I kind of made some mistakes
tonight. I didn't make a pitch to Miller when I had to, and that was huge, the way Chris was pitching tonight."

Pettitte had won six straight starts against Milwaukee since a 7-5 loss for the New York Yankees on July 19, 1996. He dropped to 7-3 against the Brewers despite lowering his season ERA from 6.35 to 5.25.

Chris Capuano (2-2) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts and two walks to help Milwaukee stop a three-game losing streak. He had been 0-2 in three career appearances at Minute Maid Park coming in.

"He was as sharp as he could be," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "He was just great. He was so sharp through the seventh inning that I hated to take him out."

Houston's Morgan Ensberg homered in his fifth straight game, tying a team record, and raised his season total to seven.

With the score tied at 1 and two outs in the seventh, Rickie Weeks and Jeff Cirillo singled, and Miller followed with a double down the right-field line.

"After my first two at-bats, I had to make a little adjustment," Miller said. "He was throwing me nasty cutters and I just came out and laid off of it. I got to 2-0 and tried to go the other way and play my game. He made a mistake with a fastball up, but I'll take it."

Bill Hall, Weeks and Cirillo had RBI singles against Russ Springer in a three-run eighth that made it 5-1.

"I'm happy with the way we're swinging our bats," Yost said. "This was not a must-win tonight. The Astros proved last year that April ad May are not important. We had two tough losses here, and we didn't want to compound it with another loss."

Ensberg's homer chased Capuano in the eighth, and Prince Fielder hit an RBI double off Mike Gallo in the ninth and scored on J.J. Hardy's single.

"It felt good to have a low-scoring game, a clean game played with good defense," Capuano said. "Our offense carried over from last night."

Weeks hit an RBI groundout in the second. Pettitte settled down to retire 15 of the next 18 hitters, fanning six, until Weeks singled in the seventh.

Craig Biggio hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

Milwaukee finished its trip 3-6. The Brewers are 5-0 in Milwaukee.

"It's nice to end this trip on a positive note," Capuano said. "We love playing at home."

Game notes
Preston Wilson struck out his first four times up, giving him 11 strikeouts in his last 14 at-bats. Wilson tied a major-league record and set the club mark with five strikeouts Monday. He had two more before ending the streak Tuesday ... Houston fell back to one game under .500 in its all-time record (3,507-3,508). ... The previous Astros player to homer in five straight games was
Carlos Beltran from Aug. 23-27, 2004.