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Astros, Lima Shuts Out Brewers


A matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers was just what Jose Lima and the Houston Astros needed.

Lima dominated Milwaukee once again, allowing two hits in eight-plus innings Monday night as the Brewers were shut out for the second straight night, 2-0.

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  • "I know I've got great numbers against the Milwaukee Brewers, but I know they have good hitters," said Lima, who is 8-0 with a 1.60 ERA in 10 career games against the Brewers. "After I walked two guys in the first inning I settled down."

    Lima (16-7) struck out four and walked three to win at home for the first time since June 12. The Astros had lost five of six.

    "It feels pretty good to be the stopper," said Lima, who won for only the second time in his last seven starts. "I've been reading that I've been walking too many guys lately, and that I've given up a lot of runs lately. I hope this puts a zipper to all of that."

    Lima left reluctantly after walking Rich Becker to open the ninth, snapping a string of 15 straight outs.

    "He really wanted to finish, he was more than frustrated he was mad, but with Billy Wagner down there in the bullpen primed and ready it wasn't a hard decision," Astros manager Larry Dierker said.

    The Brewers did not have a runner reach third base and only two made it as far as second. Lima tied teammate Mike Hampton and St. Louis' Kent Bottenfield for the NL lead in wins.

    "(Lima) had good command of all of his pitches, I don't think he has ever lost to us, we just don't seem to be able to ead him well," Milwaukee manager Jim Lefebvre said. "We hit a couple balls hard but other than that he had total command of the game. He just seems to have our number."

    Billy Wagner struck out three batters in the ninth on 10 pitches for his 28th save in 30 chances.

    "That's the best I've seen," Lefebvre said. "Three or four were 100 miles an hour. He has a nice easy delivery and the ball just jumps at you. The guy had just one pitch, and we didn't even touch one."

    Bill Spiers had three hits for the Astros, who remained three percentage points behind Cincinnati in the NL Central.

    "Don't talk about Cincinnati," Lima said. "We will see who is the best team in September."

    Houston scored both of its runs in the fourth off Kyle Peterson (1-3). Spiers led off with a single and scored on Jeff Bagwell's double into the left-field corner. Bagwell advanced to third on Carl Everett's single and scored on Derek Bell's sacrifice fly.

    The Brewers, who lost 4-0 to Arizona on Sunday, have not scored in their last 21 innings. Milwaukee did not have a hit after Dave Nilsson's infield single leading off the fourth. Becker doubled in the third for the only other hit.

    Peterson allowed two runs, seven hits and no walks in seven innings. He struck out five.

    Notes

  • Bell left the game in the seventh inning after he strained his left groin muscle while running out a ground ball. He is day-to-day.
  • The Astros activated 3B Ken Caminiti from the 60-day DL before Monday's game and optioned INF Russ Johnson to Triple-A New Orleans.
  • Milwaukee pitchers have one hit in their last 31 at bats.
  • Marquis Grissom is one hit away from 1,500 career hits.
  • Since he came off the DL on Aug. 6, Everett is hitting .463 (19-for-41) with six homers and 19 RBI.

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