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
"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
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
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
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
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.