Houston (6-3) at Arizona (4-5)

Mostly Sunny Currently: Phoenix, AZ, US
Temp: 105° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Fri Apr 14, 2006
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Andy Pettitte hopes to finally have a satisfying start as the Houston Astros begin a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.

Pettite was awful in his season debut, getting tagged for 10 runs and 13 hits as he lasted just 4 2-3 innings in an 11-2 loss to Florida on April 4. He pitched better to get a win on Sunday, giving up seven hits and three runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 7-3 win over Washington, but still was not pleased with his performance.

The veteran left-hander gave up two homers in that victory after serving up three to the Marlins.

“It was a struggle again, that’s for sure,” Pettitte said after walking three batters in beating the Nationals. “My command wasn’t great, my location wasn’t good at all.”

He’s struggled against Arizona, losing four of five starts, including two in the 2001 World Series. Pettite’s only win over the Diamondbacks was July 21, 2004.

Pettitte will be opposed by Brandon Webb, who is off to a good start in his fourth major league season despite having yet to get a decision. He’s given up five runs—four earned—in 13 innings with three walks and eight strikeouts.

Webb is 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA in four career starts against the Astros.

The right-hander will be looking to cool off Houston slugger Lance Berkman, who homered from both sides of the plate in an 8-0 victory over San Francisco on Thursday in the second game of a doubleheader. He had three RBIs in that game and one in the first game, a 5-3 defeat.

Berkman has homered in five of his last seven games and is tied for the NL lead with six home runs.

Like Berkman, Preston Wilson had homered in four of five games going into Thursday’s doubleheader. Though he failed to homer in either game, he did go 2-for-5 in the nightcap for his fourth multihit performance in the last six games.

“I don’t know what Preston’s doing,” Astros manager Phil Garner joked. “Preston’s got to get back on the streak with (Berkman).”

Houston (6-3) has yet to lose a series this season.

The Diamondbacks (4-5) closed a three-game set against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday with their second loss of the series, 5-3.

“We just lacked one more big hit,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.

Arizona’s Craig Counsell has a hit in six of seven games he’s started.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Pettitte NYY vs. B. Webb TEX
14-13 Record 16-8
4.20 ERA 3.10
178 K 178
70 BB 50
1.44 WHIP 1.13