Kennedy allows six runs, walks three in 6 1/3 innings

HOUSTON (AP) -- It didn't matter that Andy Pettitte had little sleep heading into his start against the Colorado Rockies.

A day after his wife, Laura, gave birth to their fourth child, Pettitte pitched five-hit ball for seven innings to help the Houston Astros beat the Rockies 7-0 on Monday night.

"I was up all day yesterday and all day today just sitting at the hospital," said Pettitte, whose third son, Luke Jackson, was born Sunday. "I was a little worn down. It seemed like two long days.

"But I was able to come out and get in a real good rhythm early and that helped me a lot," he said.

Pettitte (4-7) improved to 3-3 with a 3.15 ERA at Minute Maid Park this season. He tied his season high with eight strikeouts and walked only one.

"Andy did a good job of keeping them down today," manager Phil Garner said. "I didn't think the birth would affect him. You always feel pretty good after you have a birth when you know mama's OK and the baby's OK."

Pettitte appreciated the 3-0 lead he was given after the first inning.

"That was huge," Pettitte said. "The guys were able to score some runs early and I was able to settle in after that."

In the first, Craig Biggio singled and advanced to second on a balk. Colorado starter Joe Kennedy then walked Lance Berkman and hit Morgan Ensberg with a pitch to load the bases.

Jason Lane followed with a drive to center field that Preston Wilson dived for but missed. Wilson momentarily stayed on his back, not realizing the ball was next to him, and Lane made it to second with a two-run double.

Adam Everett made it 3-0 with an RBI single.

The Rockies certainly didn't notice that Pettitte was tired.

"He was able to expose our weaknesses offensively," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Any time you go seven innings and give up no runs, it's a good outing.

"This guy's record speaks well. He's a good pitcher and when he's able to cut the ball by us like he was tonight, he's very good. He threw every pitch for strikes and we didn't make a run on him in any inning. We only had two guys get to second base. We
weren't able to muster much of a threat," Hurdle added.

Dustan Mohr went 0-for-3 striking out twice against Pettitte.

"That's my first experience with him and he was really good," Mohr said. "He has four or five pitches and they were all working. He kept us off-balance. We weren't able to put anything together.

"I know he's not throwing as hard as he used to, but a veteran of his caliber is going to figure out how to get you out," he said.

Kennedy (3-7) allowed six runs on nine hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings for Colorado.

John Franco and Chad Qualls each worked a hitless inning to finish Houston's fifth shutout of the season.

Houston added a run in the fifth when Willy Taveras reached on a fielder's choice. He then advanced on a wild pitch and went to third on catcher Danny Ardoin's bad throw to second that bounded into right field. Taveras then scored on Biggio's RBI single to left.

Brad Ausmus' RBI single made it 5-0 in the sixth inning.

Berkman hit his first homer of the season from the right side of the plate in the seventh ining. It was his fourth homer of the season.

Berkman missed the first month of the season after offseason knee surgery and has had just 136 at-bats. It was his 15th right-handed homer. He has 145 as a lefty.

Berkman walked with the bases loaded in the eighth to make it 7-0.

Game notes
The Rockies are 0-10-1 in road series this season. ... Colorado is 3-13 all-time at Minute Maid Park, its worst record at any NL stadium. ... Pettitte faced Colorado for only the second time in his career. He received a no-decision the first time when he started in a 20-10 Yankees win at Coors Field June 19, 2002. He allowed eight hits and eight runs in 3 2/3.