Nationals 2

(11-8, 4-6 away)

Astros 8

(8-9, 4-5 home)

    1:05 PM ET, March 22, 2005

    Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee, Florida 

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    WAS 200000000 2 - -
    HOU 04010012 - 8 - -

    Pettitte strikes out three in three innings

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

    Andy Pettitte

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press