Charlie Lea allowed only one hit-pinch hitter Terry Puhl's line single with two outs in the eighth inning--as the Montreal Expos beat the Astros, 2-0, yesterday in Houston.

"Sure I was thinking about the no-hitter," Lea said, "but after I lost it I was just trying to stay in the game and save the shutout."

Lea (2-0) struck out six and walked three. On April 9, he pitched 5 2/3 perfect innings against Los Angeles in winning his first game this season. He is 3-0 in his last 27 innings in the Astrodome, allowing no runs on six hits.

On May 10, 1981, Lea pitched a no-hitter in Montreal against San Francisco, winning, 4-0.

"He was unhittable," Phil Garner of the Astros said. "He throws an invisible ball. It jumps over the bat. I wonder who beats him. I don't believe I've ever seen him lose."

Lea had permitted Houston only three runners--all on walks--before Puhl, hitting for John Mizerock, lined a 3-1 pitch to right field.

Only two Astros hit to the outfield before Puhl's single.

Lea got the run he needed in the second inning, when Gary Carter, Chris Speier and Flynn singled.

In the Montreal ninth, Andre Dawson homered into the upper deck. Only five players had ever reached the yellow seats since the Astrodome opened in 1965.