Pettitte strikes out three in three innings

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Andy Pettitte is on track to make his
first start of the season.

Pettitte allowed two runs and four hits in his first start of
the spring Tuesday, and Adam Everett had two doubles and two RBI
to lead the Houston Astros over the Washington Nationals 8-2.

"I felt like my breaking stuff was decent, and mechanically I
felt good," Pettitte said. "I felt like my velocity was better
than the other day, and that's a good thing. I don't feel like (the
Nationals) really got a good swing off me. They got a few hits, but
I really felt good about the way the ball was moving."

Pettitte is trying to rebound from an injury-plagued 2004 season
that was cut short by elbow surgery in August. He threw 60 pitches,
striking out three and walking one. Pettitte pitched two scoreless
innings Thursday in a `B' game against Cleveland.

Houston manager Phil Garner is pleased with Pettitte's progress
and said the left-hander is on schedule to make his first start of
the regular season April 6 against St. Louis.

"I thought he threw with good velocity, but more importantly,
he threw the ball down and he had good location," Garner said.
"He used his breaking ball. After a tough first inning, he settled
down and got a couple of more innings in."

Pettitte allowed three hits in the first inning as Washington
scored a pair of runs. J.J. Davis' infield single scored Carlos
Baerga, and Jose Vidro came home when Houston first baseman Jeff
Bagwell's throw got past Pettitte, who was covering on the play.

The Astros scored four runs in the second off losing pitcher
Tony Armas Jr. Everett had a two-run double, and Bagwell added an
RBI double.

Game notes
OF Luke Scott, acquired from Cleveland in a trade before
the 2004 season, had a triple and a double in four at-bats and is
13-for-30 (.433) this spring. ... The Nationals sent OF Tyrell
Godwin to Triple-A New Orleans after clearing waivers and Toronto
waived its right to reacquire him. The Nationals also sent
outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds to their minor league camp. Hammonds
will report to New Orleans.