Tampa Bay (22-38) at Houston (35-27)

Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 2:05 pm EDT Sun Jun 8, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Tim Redding will try to record his first victory in over a month and lead the Houston Astros to their seventh straight win and a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Redding hasn’t won since a 5-2 home decision over Florida on May 3. The 25-year-old right-hander is 0-2 in his last six starts despite allowing three earned runs or fewer over that span.

Redding hasn’t gotten a decision in either of his last two starts, including Tuesday when the Astros won 11-6 over visiting Baltimore. He gave up four earned runs and seven hits through four innings.

The Astros have won six in a row behind their offense, outscoring the opposition 53-26, including Saturday’s 5-4 triumph.

Houston got solo homers from Jeff Kent and Richard Hidalgo and a three-run blast from Lance Berkman in improving to 5-0 in interleague play this season.

Hidalgo was playing his first game since May 23 after being on the 15-day disabled list with tonsillitis and a virus.

Berkman extended his hitting streak to 14 games during which he is batting .382 (21-for-55) with five homers, three doubles, a triple and 15 RBIs.

Tampa Bay wasted homers from Rocco Baldelli and Toby Hall in losing for the sixth time in seven games. Baldelli hadn’t homered since May 23, spanning 38 at-bats. Hall has two homers and six RBIs in his last six games.

STANDINGS: Devil Rays - 5th place, 12 1/2 GB, AL East. Astros - 1st place, NL Central.

DEVIL RAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Victor Zambrano (2-3, 5.07 ERA). Zambrano, who has been in and out of the rotation, is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in seven starts this season. That lone win came on Wednesday in a 5-2 road victory over the Chicago Cubs. The Venezuelan right-hander went seven innings, giving up an earned run and three hits while striking out a season-high eight. Zambrano has never faced Houston.

ASTROS PROBABLE STARTER: Redding (3-4, 3.70 ERA). Redding, who faces the Devil Rays for the first time, has surrendered just one homer over his last six starts, spanning 33 1-3 innings.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Devil Rays - Baldelli, .333 avg., and 33 RBIs; Aubrey Huff, 14 HRs and 38 runs; Carl Crawford, 15 SBs. Astros - Kent, .324 avg. and 45 RBIs; Jeff Bagwell and Berkman, 11 HRs; Berkman, 43 runs; Adam Everett, 6 SBs.

INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Devil Rays - 1-4; Astros 5-0.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Devil Rays - The Devil Rays called up RHP Jorge Sosa from Triple-A Durham, where he went 1-1 with a 5.47 ERA. … To make room on the roster for RHP Sosa, LHP Nick Bierbrodt was designated for assignment and INF Jason Smith was optioned to Durham. … RF Huff doubled on Saturday, giving him 36 extra-base hits, third most in the AL. Astros - LHP Billy Wagner got his 18th save in 19 chances Saturday, tying Dave Smith for the franchise lead in career saves with 199. … 1B Jeff Bagwell is batting .412 (7-for-17) during a five-game hitting streak with two doubles and six walks. He hasn’t homered since May 5, a stretch of 117 at-bats. … 3B Morgan Ensberg had his eight-game hitting streak snapped after going 0-for-3 Saturday. He came with 13 hits in his previous 19 at-bats, with five home runs and 14 RBIs.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devil Rays - 10-22 on the road; Astros - 21-12 at home.

INJURIES: Devil Rays - LHP Joe Kennedy (shoulder), 15-day DL; SS Rey Ordonez (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Seth McClung (elbow), 60-day DL. Astros - LHP Carlos Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Brian Moehler (forearm), 15-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

V. Zambrano NYY vs. T. Redding Tor
12-10 Record 10-14
4.21 ERA 3.68
132 K 116
106 BB 65
1.44 WHIP 1.39