Astros ace hopes to make next start

Updated: July 27, 2004, 12:08 AM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Houston Astros starter Andy Pettitte's troublesome left elbow forced him to leave his outing Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks after the fifth inning.

Pettitte has been on the disabled list twice this season with left arm injuries. He was on the DL April 7-29 with a left elbow strain and again May 27-June 28 with a left forearm strain.

"I aggravated it again a little bit. We're going to see how it feels the next couple of days and hopefully I'll be able to make my next start," Pettitte said. "It's the same thing, the flexor tendon in my elbow, but it's not as bad as it was before. I threw a backdoor cutter to [Alex] Cintron in the fourth, and that is when I first felt it."

The left-hander gave up two runs -- both on homers -- and three hits while striking out four. He walked none and threw 62 pitches.

Injuries have limited Pettitte to just 13 starts since he signed with Houston in the offseason. He is 6-4 with a 4.11 ERA after a 4-1 loss Monday night.

"He'll be looked at by the doctor tomorrow, and hopefully we will have a more in-depth story to tell you," Houston manager Phil Garner said. "He said that he felt something when we came out to talk to him in the fifth, but he said he thought he could get through the inning. We didn't want him to push it. He probably could have gone back out.

"I know he has had trouble with it in the past, but let's wait and see what the doctor says."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press