Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Houston leads 1-0 (as of 8/11)

Game 1: Friday, August 11
San Diego2Final
Houston4
Game 2: Saturday, August 12
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Houston3
Game 3: Sunday, August 13
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Houston2

Padres 2

(58-57, 30-26 away)

Astros 4

(57-58, 34-26 home)

    8:05 PM ET, August 11, 2006

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

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    SD 002000000 2 3 0
    HOU 01011010 - 4 11 1

    W: A. Pettitte (11-12)

    L: C. Park (7-7)

    S: B. Lidge (26)

    Pettitte hits first career HR, pitches Astros past Padres

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Andy Pettitte threw a gem, hit a homer and quieted the pitching ace in the locker next to his.

    Elias Says

    ALT HERE
    Pettitte
    Andy Pettitte hit a home run in the Astros' win Friday night. Roy Oswalt hit a home run Wednesday night. It's the second time in franchise history that two pitchers hit home runs in a three-day span. It also happened in 1976, when J.R. Richard (Aug. 26) and Larry Dierker (Aug. 28) turned the trick.

    • For more Elias Says, Click here.

    Pettitte hit his first career homer and matched a season high with 10 strikeouts to lead the Houston Astros over the San Diego Padres 4-2 on Friday night.

    Pettitte's homer off Chan Ho Park came two days after Roy Oswalt hit his first career homer in a 14-1 win over Pittsburgh.

    "It was nice, for one reason," Pettitte said. "Now, we don't have to listen to him too much."

    Oswalt retrieved his home-run ball from the fan who caught it, trading it for an autographed bat. He chided that he gave the fan one of Pettitte's bats because of how little they're used.

    The jokes can stop right there.

    "That was a dagger to the heart," a smiling Pettitte said of Oswalt's homer, "but now it's not anymore."

    After Pettitte homered in the fourth inning, Oswalt was the first Astro to greet Pettitte when he returned to the dugout.

    Like Oswalt on Wednesday, the fans held their standing ovation until Pettitte acknowledged them with a wave. While Oswalt hit his with a comfortable lead, Pettitte's drive tied Friday's game at 2-2.

    "Roy had a little more room to relax," Pettitte said. "The way the season's going and the way I've been throwing the ball, I had a lot more on my mind than a curtain call."

    But Pettitte (11-12) was untouchable after a rocky third inning and Craig Biggio doubled and scored the go-ahead run on Park's wild pitch in the fifth to help the Astros win for the eighth time in 10 games. Lance Berkman added a solo homer off San Diego's Alan Embree.

    Brad Lidge shut out the Padres in the ninth to earn his 26th save in 30 chances.

    Park (7-7) lasted five innings in his first start since being treated for intestinal bleeding with blood transfusions last week. Park allowed three runs and eight hits. He struck out three and walked two.

    "For the layoff and what he's gone through, he threw the ball well," said San Diego manager Bruce Bochy. "He had some bad luck. But overall, I thought he had good stuff."

    For the second time in 10 days, Pettitte turned in one of his best outings of the season against the Padres, who've lost four in a row and 10 of their last 14.

    Pettitte shut out San Diego with eight strikeouts in six innings in Houston's 1-0 win at Petco Park on Aug. 1. He retired the first six batters he faced Friday, striking out three.

    Brad Ausmus scored Adam Everett on a squeeze bunt to give Pettitte a 1-0 lead in the second.

    Everett led off with a triple after left fielder Ben Johnson couldn't make a diving catch in the corner. Ausmus, who had a pair of RBI singles in Thursday's 5-2 win over Pittsburgh, dropped a well-placed bunt between the mound and first base and Everett scored easily.

    The Padres got all three of their hits in the third.

    Mark Bellhorn and Johnson led off with singles and Josh Barfield walked to load the bases. Brian Giles then beat out a slow grounder that Berkman misplayed between first and second and Bellhorn scored the tying run.

    Mike Cameron followed with a sacrifice fly that sent center fielder Willy Taveras to the warning track.

    Pettitte fanned Mike Piazza to end the inning, then struck out Khalil Greene and Bellhorn in the fourth. Pettitte then delivered his biggest highlight in the bottom of the inning.

    With two outs, the career .118 hitter hammered Park's first pitch into the right-field seats.

    "I've been feeling real good at the plate, but seriously, I'm never up there trying to hit a home run," he said. "I just happened to run into one. I got lucky."

    Pettitte can't remember ever hitting a home run, even as a Little Leaguer.

    After the game, Pettitte met Sophie Belle Michael, the six-year-old girl who picked up the home-run ball when it hit her seat. Pettitte signed her baseball cap, gave her a bat and posed for pictures with the girl and her family.

    "That's pretty neat," Pettitte said.

    Biggio led off the fifth with a double to left and went to third on Berkman's groundout. Aubrey Huff flied out before Park threw a 2-0 pitch to Ensberg that hit the dirt and skipped over Piazza's shoulder, allowing Biggio to score.

    Pettitte retired the final 14 Padres he faced after Giles' single in the third. He struck out Adrian Gonzalez and Bellhorn in the seventh, matching his highest strikeout total since a 12-0 win over Florida on July 15.

    Embree started the seventh and Berkman led off by driving a 3-2 pitch into the left-field seats. Berkman's 31st homer was his fifth batting right-handed.

    Game notes


    The Astros have won their last three series openers. ... Taveras singled to right in the first inning, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. Taveras also had two steals to raise his team-leading total to 19. ... Giles made a running catch on Ausmus' liner down the right-field line and ended up plunging headfirst into the first row. ... Pettitte has struck out 12 in a game on two occasions, the last in 2002.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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