Josh Willingham connected twice, Mike Jacobs added a three-run
shot and Hanley Ramirez had four hits and three RBI. Florida, with
six rookies in its starting lineup and a major league-low payroll
of about $15 million, gave first-year manager Joe Girardi his first
Things went bad early for Pettitte, who allowed seven earned
runs in 4 2/3 innings.
"Obviously, the starting pitcher, you've got to set the tone,"
Pettitte said. "The first inning, give up three runs, that's just
terrible. It's extremely disappointing. I'm embarrassed. I don't
know what to say. I've got to go around to every guy and
Cabrera, who was 0-for-4 in Monday's 1-0 loss, hit a two-run
homer to right in the first. He also doubled and scored in the
"It doesn't look like Pettitte was having a very good start,
but I'm not surprised our guys got after him," Cabrera said.
Willingham, who spent most of last season at Triple-A
Albuquerque, got his second major league home run when his long fly
hit the yellow line atop the left-field wall two pitches later.
Willingham also connected against Chad Qualls in the sixth.
Willingham said Cabrera's early homer set the tone for the game.
"He took a lot of pressure off of our offense," he said. "I
think it kind of loosened everyone up. Pettitte wasn't the same guy
that we faced last year. He was leaving some balls over the middle
of the plate."
Jacobs homered into the right-field bullpen in the fifth to
stretch the lead to 8-0.
Ramirez followed with an RBI double, and the boos got even
louder. Russ Springer then relieved Pettitte to a loud ovation.
Jacobs presented a game ball to Girardi that he said would go in
his trophy case. Team officials gave him a bottle of champagne to
commemorate his first victory.
"I think this takes a little pressure off of them," Girardi
said. "And it's going to take a lot of pressure off guys who
haven't done it before."
Pettitte, the left-hander who ended last season with a
seven-game winning streak, hadn't allowed three homers in a game
since 2003 with the New York Yankees. The 13 hits were the most he
had given up since 2001, when he allowed 14 at Boston.
Mitre pitched six shutout innings, allowing three hits. He
struck out five and walked one to earn the win in his Marlins
Girardi doesn't think the win will change the minds of those who
picked the Marlins to be baseball's worst team.
"No one knows where this team is going to end up," he said.
"We had some guys who had some tough nights last night but they
bounced right back."
"I don't think what you've seen is the real Astros," Houston
manager Phil Garner said. "We had good, tough at-bats last night. I
didn't think we had as good of tough at-bats tonight."
Ramirez, a rookie shortstop, rebounded from a mistake-filled
opening day when he had two errors, three strikeouts and got thrown
out trying to steal second.
Cabrera said he talked with Ramirez after Monday's game and told
him to forget his performance. So Ramirez did, but he still worried
about facing Pettitte.
"I felt the pressure," Ramirez said. "He's a World Series guy
and I knew that. But today was a new day."
Another rookie, second baseman Dan Uggla, got his first two hits
in the majors, a single in the first and a double in the sixth.
Without Roger Clemens until at least May 1, the Astros are
counting on Pettitte to have another big season in the final year
of a $31.5 million, three-year contract. He was 17-9 last season
with a career-best 2.39 ERA.
Houston's Fernando Nieve allowed one hit in a scoreless
inning in his major-league debut. ... Pettitte's seven earned runs
was the most since he also allowed seven on May 18, 2005, against