Cincinnati (56-70) at Houston (67-60)

  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Fri Aug 22, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Wade Miller has been bothered by a sore right elbow since the All-Star break. It has not mattered much lately.

The 26-year-old right-hander will look to win his fourth straight start when the Houston Astros open a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at Minute Maid Park.

During his three-start winning streak, Miller has allowed just three earned runs over 18 innings. On Saturday, he limited the Reds to just one run and one hit through six innings of a 5-2 win at Great American Ball Park.

“That was a gutty performance,” Astros manager Jimy Williams said. “He battled and gave us six good innings. He made pitches when he had to. We wanted to get him out of there after six and hope the bullpen could get us nine outs.”

Miller will look to deliver a similar performance as the Astros try to maintain their position atop the NL Central.

The Astros opened their 12-game homestand by taking two of three from the Chicago Cubs, including a 9-3 win on Thursday. They lead the St. Louis Cardinals by one game and the Cubs by 1 1/2 games.

Houston finished with 16 hits Thursday, one short of its season high. The Astros will look to maintain that offensive productivity against the Reds, who have lost three of five.

Cincinnati has not scored more than four runs in five straight games, including a 9-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.

During Thursday’s loss, the Reds traded reliever Scott Sullivan to the Chicago White Sox for a player to be named. The Reds also gave the White Sox an undisclosed amount of cash.

Sullivan, who had spent his entire 11-year career in Cincinnati, was 6-0 with a 3.62 ERA in 50 appearances this season.

STANDINGS: Reds - 5th place, 10 1/2 GB, NL Central. Astros - 1st place, NL Central.

REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Seth Etherton (0-1, 9.00 ERA). Etherton made his first appearance in three seasons on Saturday. Called up from Triple-A Louisville earlier in the day, he allowed five runs and six hits through five innings of the Reds’ 5-2 loss.

ASTROS PROBABLE STARTER: Miller (10-10, 4.43 ERA). In seven career games against the Reds, Miller is 4-0 with a 3.24 ERA.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Reds - Sean Casey, .292 avg. and 64 RBIs; Adam Dunn, 27 HRs and 70 runs; Dunn and Felipe Lopez, 8 SBs. Astros - Richard Hidalgo, .302 avg; Jeff Bagwell, 28 HRs and 84 runs; Bagwell and Lance Berkman, 75 RBIs; Bagwell and Adam Everett, 6 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Astros, 11-3.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Reds - SS Barry Larkin made his 1,999th appearance at shortstop on Thursday. Only 13 players have played 2,000 or more games at that position. … 1B Casey is batting .182 (4-for-22) over his last six games. … The Reds have committed at least one error in 75 of their 127 games. Astros - The Astros activated INF Jose Vizcaino on Thursday. He had been on the 15-day disabled list with a broken bone in his left hand. … LHP Billy Wagner has pitched 20 2-3 scoreless innings over his last 19 appearances and has converted 13 straight saves. … 1B Bagwell needs four RBIs to become the 58th player in major league history with 1,400.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Reds - 26-36 on the road; Astros - 38-24 at home.

INJURIES: Reds - INF Brandon Larson (shoulder), 15-day DL; OF Russell Branyan (ankle), 15-day DL; OF Dunn (thumb), 15-day DL; RHP Jose Acevedo (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Ryan Dempster (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Jimmy Haynes (back), 15-day DL; RHP Luke Prokopec (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Ken Griffey Jr. (ankle), 60-day DL; OF Austin Kearns (shoulder), 60-day DL. Astros - LHP Carlos Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Roy Oswalt (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Brian Moehler (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Rodrigo Rosario (shoulder), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Etherton LAD vs. W. Miller TOR
2-4 Record 14-13
6.90 ERA 4.13
17 K 161
15 BB 77
1.80 WHIP 1.31