San Diego (45-40) at Houston (41-42)

  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Thu Jul 7, 2005
  • TV: Ch4, FSSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The surging Houston Astros look to reach the breakeven mark for the first time in nearly three months when they try for a four-game sweep of the NL West-leading San Diego Padres at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros, who were stuck in the NL Central cellar as late as June 5, have won seven of their last eight games and 13 of 16 to take sole possession of second place in the division. They beat the Padres 5-4 on Wednesday to move a half-game above the Chicago Cubs, who got rained out.

Andy Pettitte allowed one run in five innings as Houston won its sixth straight series and has a chance to reach .500 for the first time since April 22 (8-8).

Lance Berkman, Adam Everett and Morgan Ensberg each drove in runs for the Astros, who are hitting .312 (77-for-247) in seven games in July.

“We’ve been doing a good job spreading the (prosperity) around a little bit,” Astros manager Phil Garner said. “Everybody’s been pitching in. That’s a good thing.”

Craig Biggio hit an RBI double to surpass Roberto Alomar for 50th on the career hits list with 2,725.

“It was nice, especially when it turned out to be such a big run,” he said. “We’re winning games now. That’s the important thing.”

Houston won for the 12th time in 13 games at Minute Maid Park, and Pettitte won his third straight decision despite having to leave with tightness in his left elbow. The left-hander, who is day to day, has been working his way back from season-ending elbow surgery last year.

“We just didn’t want to take any more chances,” Houston manager Phil Garner said. “I don’t think it’s anything serious. We fully expect him to take his next start.”

Robert Fick went 2-for-4 with an RBI for San Diego, which lost for the ninth time in 14 games.

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Starting Pitchers

W. Williams HOU vs. W. Rodríguez HOU
9-12 Record 10-10
4.85 ERA 5.53
106 K 80
51 BB 53
1.41 WHIP 1.46