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Williams helps Pads take two of three from Astros

HOUSTON (AP) -- Woody Williams likes being home on the road.

The San Diego right-hander pitched seven strong innings in
another successful homecoming, leading the Padres over the Houston
Astros 7-2 Sunday.

"I feel comfortable here," said Williams, whose home is about
25 minutes from Minute Maid Park. "There's nothing like being at
home."

Williams (5-4), who was born in Houston and went to the
University of Houston, scattered eight hits, struck out three and
walked none.

Just six days before his 40th birthday, Williams, who lives in
nearby Fresno in the offseason, upped his career record against the
Astros to 11-6, his second most wins against any team. He has 12
against Milwaukee.

Williams improved to 9-3 at Houston's current home, which is the
most victories by an opposing pitcher.

"I know I've always felt this way when I have pitched here,"
Williams said. "It's always nice to sleep in your own bed and be
with your family."

Manager Bruce Bochy has noticed Williams' comfort level at
Minute Maid.

"He just has pitched great here," Bochy said. "I guess he
likes that home cooking.

"I know it's always a busy time for him when he's here. But it
seems he's always pitched well here and he manages to stay
focused."

The Astros won't argue that.

"We just couldn't put anything together against him," Eric
Munson said. "It was just one of those days. Woody really pitched
good. You have to give him credit. He's a good veteran pitcher and
he's got a pretty good idea of what he's doing out there."

Mike Cameron hit a two-run homer and finished with three hits
for the second straight game for San Diego, which won two of three
in the weekend series.

"I like it here," Cameron said. "I hate the grass, but
otherwise this place has always treated me well.

"Winning these last two games couldn't have been better for us,
especially after losing the first four on this trip. Now we can go
home for two weeks against teams in our own division. We can only
build on these two wins."

It was bad for the Astros, who had won four straight and eight
of 10 before dropping these two.

"We've still got a lot of good things going on right now,"
manager Phil Garner said. "We'd at least like to have won the
series while we're at home, but we couldn't seal the deal. Now
we've got to get back on track."

Brandon Backe (3-2) lasted five innings for Houston, allowing
three runs and nine hits. He walked two, hit a batter with a pitch
and struck out three just 11 days after beating the Padres 7-1 in
San Diego.

"I didn't actually think Backe pitched poorly," Garner said.
"They had a couple of bloop hits and they battled pretty good at
the plate and actually hit some good pitches that they probably
shouldn't have hit. It was a good day for them."

In the first inning, Mike Lamb and Lance Berkman had
back-to-back hits that were dropped by Padres outfielders Dave
Roberts and Cameron respectively on difficult plays. Berkman's was
a double that moved Lamb to third, setting up Aubrey Huff's
sacrifice fly to center for a 1-0 lead.

The Padres went ahead in the fourth when Josh Barfield doubled
in Adrian Gonzalez and Williams' infield grounder scored Khalil
Greene for a 2-1 lead.

"I was just battling every inning," Backe said. "That's
pretty much the toughest five innings I've ever pitched. I gave up
some hits that were hard hit and not very hard hit. They put the
ball in play and they found the holes."

Geoff Blum drew a bases-loaded walk against Backe in the fifth
and Cameron hit a two-run drive off reliever Dan Wheeler in the
sixth for his 17th homer. Cameron went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer
and four RBI in San Diego's 6-3 win Saturday.

One out later, Josh Bard hit his seventh homer to make it 6-1.

Dave Roberts' sacrifice fly drove in the Padres' final run in
the seventh off reliever Trevor Miller.

Adam Everett hit his third home run of the season in the seventh
for Houston.

Game notes
A day after Astros OF Preston Wilson was designated for
assignment, the Colorado Rockies had expressed interest in
reacquiring him through a trade. ... Cameron finished 3-for-5 with
two RBI Sunday. ... Willy Taveras extended his career-high hitting
streak to 16 games with a single in the third inning. It's the
longest Astros streak since Jeff Kent's club-record 25 straight in
2004. ... SS Greene left the game with a contusion of his left hand
after being hit by a pitch from Backe in the fifth inning. He was
taken for precautionary X-rays. ... It was Williams' first win
since July 7 at Washington. He had gone 0-3 with two no-decisions
in five starts since then.