Roger Clemens kept the Cubs in their deep sleep Wednesday, showing the stuff that has made him one of the game's greats.

Clemens (8-0) earned his 317th career victory with a 5-1 victory over the Cubs, who have lost seven of nine games.

"We ran into a good pitcher who's 8-0," losing pitcher Matt Clement said. "Nobody has beaten him. I don't think there's any frustration or anything to hang your head about. He threw the ball like he has been throwing it all year, and he's tough to beat right now."

Clemens allowed one run on five hits through seven innings, winning for the first time at Wrigley Field in his second appearance.

With the wind blowing in and the Cubs' hitters in a funk, Clemens made it look easy.

"He is what he is," Todd Hollandsworth said. "You see what he's doing at his age (42 Aug. 4), it's incredible."

The Astros "had a guy on the mound who has a lot to do with silencing bats, deadening bats," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "Roger threw a very good game. I don't know if it was our at-bats or Roger."

The Cubs lost the first series of a 10-game homestand and are 1-4 against Houston this year.

They fell 4½ games behind Cincinnati in the NL Central Division, and they're only 14-11 at Wrigley Field.

The game was tied 1-1 in the fifth inning when Jeff Kent tripled into the right-field corner with two outs before Lance Berkman singled on a 1-0 pitch to drive in the go-ahead run.

Baker elected to have Clement pitch to Berkman, who ranks fifth in the league in hitting, rather than walk him to face Mike Lamb.

"It's easy to second-guess things," Clement said. "I feel I let down Dusty because he gave me the go-ahead and gave me the trust to go with that at-bat, and I didn't do the job."

Baker wanted Clement to pitch around Berkman, but he also was concerned with Lamb, whose two-run pinch double won Tuesday night's game.

"Lamb has been hot too," Baker said. "So you have one guy hitting .340 and another guy hitting .347 (both actually .351).

"In that situation, you just don't want to put too many men on base in a low-scoring game, especially with the guys behind him who can hit.

"Matty didn't throw the ball where he wanted to on that particular pitch, and he paid for it."

The Astros broke the game open in the seventh.

After Adam Everett reached on a bunt single, Aramis Ramirez made a nice backhand play on a Kent shot to third and forced Everett at second for the second out.

Clement got ahead of Berkman with two quick strikes but wound up walking him.

Lamb then singled off second baseman Todd Walker's glove, bringing home the third Astros run.

Baker had left-hander Mike Remlinger warming up but stuck with Clement.

"Matt made the pitch, and when the ball was hit we all thought it was going to be the third out and things were going as planned," Baker said.

Clement uncharacteristically lost his poise after watching the ball deflect off Walker's glove.

He gave up a first-pitch RBI single to Brad Ausmus to trail 4-1, and Baker removed him after 112 pitches.

The Astros added a fifth run in the ninth when Michael Wuertz issued a bases-loaded walk to Richard Hidalgo.

The game ended with Corey Patterson getting booed again after he stranded a runner on third.

"He's a little lost right now," Baker said of Patterson. "It happens. It doesn't help when people are all on his butt and booing, especially at home. That's not going to help anything.

"Right now we don't need to be kicked when we're down. Everybody needs some love and support, especially when you're down."