Series: Game 3 of 3

Houston won 3-0

Game 1: Friday, September 17
Game 2: Saturday, September 18
Game 3: Sunday, September 19

Brewers 0

(62-85, 28-45 away)

Astros 1

(83-67, 42-33 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 19, 2004

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    MIL 000000000 0 2 1
    HOU 00100000 - 1 4 0

    W: R. Clemens (18-5)

    L: D. Davis (11-12)

    S: B. Lidge (25)

    Victory is Clemens' 328th

    HOUSTON -- Roger Clemens could scarcely contain his glee, practically skipping off the mound and pumping his fist after his final strikeout of the night.

    The Astros had plenty to celebrate after the Rocket's 328th win. Houston beat the Milwaukee Brewers 1-0 Sunday night to complete a three-game sweep and remain a game behind San Francisco in the NL wild-card race.

    Roger Clemens

    "He was phenomenal. He was just fantastic tonight," Astros manager Phil Garner said. "You wish you could just take a little bit of this and give it to the younger guys just to show them how it's done."

    Clemens won his sixth straight start. Houston, which has won four straight, kept pace with the Giants and also remained a half-game behind the Chicago Cubs in the playoff chase. The Astros are off Monday, then start a critical three-game series at San Francisco the following day.

    Clemens (18-4) retired his final 13 batters, striking out Scott Podsednik to end the eighth. The crowd of 35,678 was almost as pumped as Clemens, giving him a rousing standing ovation as he headed back to the dugout.

    "It had to be this way," Clemens said. "I knew I had to be mistake-free."

    He moved into sole possession of 10th on the career wins list, one ahead of John Clarkson and one behind Steve Carlton.

    Brad Lidge struck out the side in the ninth for his 25th save in 29 chances. Houston has won 12 straight home games for the first time since 1981.

    Clemens allowed two hits, walked two and struck out 10. He also tied teammate Roy Oswalt for the NL lead in victories this season -- one more than Clemens' total with the New York Yankees last year, which he had said would be the final season of his career.

    "He was throwing balls that are unhittable," said Milwaukee first baseman Lyle Overbay, who went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. "He's the same as he's been all year."

    Clemens even added a little offense, hitting the third double of his career in the fifth, a shot deep into the left-field corner. The fans burst into cheers as Clemens slowly made his way around the bases.

    Clemens is closing in on his seventh 20-win season and, perhaps, his seventh Cy Young award. He currently leads the majors in winning percentage (.818).

    "Every five days the man is just incredible," Houston's Jeff Bagwell said. "We've never come across anything like him. It's nice to be able to just watch him."

    Houston scored the game's only run in the third when Jose Vizcaino scored from third when Clemens hit a double-play grounder. Vizcaino walked, then took third on an error by Overbay on a ball hit by Raul Chavez.

    Milwaukee's Doug Davis (11-12) allowed four hits in seven innings, dropping to 1-3 in his last nine starts -- he has allowed three runs or fewer in each of them.

    "It's the same as last week and the same as the week before, there's just nothing you can do," Davis said. "Defense lost the game. That was the difference in the game."

    The last-place Brewers have lost six in a row and eight of nine.

    Game notes

    Astros 3B Morgan Ensberg, who's missed 21 starts because of back spasms, returned to the lineup. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. ... Craig Biggio hit his 561st double, moving past Eddie Murray into sole possession of 18th place on the career list.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press