Happ's Astros debut a gem

THE SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 4:50 PM ET

HOUSTON, TX - J.A. Happ pitched six scoreless innings in his Houston debut, as the Astros handled the Milwaukee Brewers, 5-0, in the opener of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

Happ (2-0) and minor leaguers Jonathan Villar and Anthony Gose were acquired by Houston from the Phillies on Thursday in exchange for workhorse starter Roy Oswalt. Happ gave up just two hits, struck out six, and walked four to take the win.

"I'm sure there was a lot of anxiety and nerves throwing for the first part of it," Astros manager Brad Mills said of Happ. "We saw a guy that knows how to pitch."

Jason Michaels, Chris Johnson and Jeff Keppinger homered for the Astros, who have won three in a row.

Manny Parra (3-8) went 5 1/3 innings in the start, allowing four runs on four hits for the Brewers, who have dropped three in a row. He also fanned six batters and walked three to drop his third straight decision.

"I voted for him for Rookie of the Year last year," Brewers manager Ken Macha said of Happ. "He's got a good arm. I thought we were just a little too aggressive and went out of the zone a little bit tonight."

The Brewers failed to score off Happ after putting men on first and second. Rickie Weeks doubled to begin the game and Corey Hart walked. Happ, though, retired the next three batters in order to end the threat.

Michaels' solo blast in the second would prove to be all the runs Houston would need.

After Milwaukee stranded men on first and second in the top of the fourth, the Astros put a three-spot on the board in the home half. With two outs, Michaels walked and Pedro Feliz singled. Johnson then smacked a three-run homer over the wall in right for a 4-0 advantage.

Keppinger's solo homer off the left-field foul pole in the eighth made it a 5-0 game.

Wilton Lopez, Brandon Lyon and Matt Lindstrom combined to pitch a scoreless seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively, for Houston.

Game Notes

The Astros lead the season series with the Brewers, 4-3...Following the trade on Thursday, the Astros then made a second deal, sending Gose to Toronto for minor league first baseman Brett Wallace...Johnson extended his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest by a Houston rookie since Julio Lugo's 14-game run in 2000...Hart went 0-for-3 with a walk in his return to the lineup. He played for the first time in six games after missing time due to a sore right thumb and wrist...Milwaukee started a six-game road trip on Friday...The New York Yankees are reportedly set to acquire Lance Berkman from the Astros. Berkman was not in the starting lineup for Houston on Friday...Oswalt made his Philadelphia debut on Friday against the Nationals. The right-hander allowed five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits and walked two in six innings to absorb his third straight loss.


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