HOUSTON (AP) — Carlos Lee homered for the third time in four games and Roy Oswalt outpitched Greg Maddux on Saturday to lead the Houston Astros to a 3-1 win over the San Diego Padres.
Oswalt (10-6) matched a season high with 10 strikeouts, showing no ill effects from a strained chest muscle that forced him to miss his last start. Oswalt has won seven of his last eight starts against the Padres, including the last three.
With his 108th career win, Oswalt passed J.R. Richard and moved into fourth place on the franchise’s win list. He’s two wins away from tying Mike Scott for third place.
Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth save of the season. Lidge has picked up all six saves in consecutive appearances since July 17. He hasn’t allowed a run in 20 of his last 21 appearances.
Maddux (7-8) allowed only two hits after a rocky start, but stretched his winless streak to six starts. The four-time Cy Young winner hasn't won since June 27, in San Francisco.
Neither ace looked sharp in the first inning.
Brian Giles reached on an error leading off the game, then scored after consecutive one-out singles by Milton Bradley and Adrian Gonzalez. Oswalt struck out Michael Barrett, then plunked Kevin Kouzmanoff on the right wrist to load the bases. Geoff Blum grounded out to end the inning.
Maddux walked backup shortstop Eric Bruntlett and Bruntlett stole second, just his third steal of the season. That paid off when Lance Berkman lined an RBI single to right.
Lee then hammered an 0-1 pitch off the left-field foul pole to make it 3-1. Lee’s 23rd homer of the season gave him 86 RBIs, giving him the NL lead over Ryan Howard.
The pitching duel took shape after that — Maddux and Oswalt allowed only one hit apiece over the next four innings.