Hideo Nomo looks to match his career high for wins and help the Los Angeles Dodgers keep pace in the National League wild card race as they continue their three-game series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Nomo, the NL Rookie of the Year in 1995, established a career-best with 16 wins in 1996, and matched that total last season.
The Japanese right-hander’s 15 wins are second in the NL and his 2.70 ERA ranks sixth.
He has a 1.88 ERA in his last eight starts, going 6-1 over that stretch, including a 2-1 home victory over the New York Mets on Friday. Nomo went seven innings, allowing one run and six hits while striking out seven. He gave up three walks, increasing his NL lead in that category to 86.
“I don’t really care about my statistics,” said Nomo, second in the league with 190 1-3 innings pitched. “All I care about is to pitch a game that the team can win and so we can make the playoffs at the end. I don’t think about myself, I think about contributing to the team.”
The Dodgers were routed 18-4 on Tuesday, their third loss in a row.
David Ross and Fred McGriff homered for Los Angeles, which remained 2 1/2 games back in the wild card race.
The Astros maintained their half-game lead in the NL Central, winning their second in a row and just their fifth in 13 games.
Kent is three homers shy of the team record for a second baseman, set by Craig Biggio in 1995 and 1997. Bagwell needs one more to become the 13th player ever to hit 30 home runs in at least eight consecutive seasons.
STANDINGS: Dodgers - 3rd place, 11 1/2 GB, NL West. Astros - 1st place, NL Central.
DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Nomo (15-9, 2.70 ERA). Nomo is 3-6 all-time against Houston with a 4.09 ERA in 14 starts.
ASTROS PROBABLE STARTER: Wade Miller (10-11, 4.40 ERA). Miller has won five of his last seven decisions, and is 3-1 with a 2.16 ERA over his last four starts. The right-hander had his personal three-game win streak snapped in a 4-3 home loss to Cincinnati on Friday, giving up three runs and five hits over seven innings. He also struck out seven. The fifth-year pitcher is 1-1 all-time against Los Angeles with a 4.72 ERA in two starts.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Dodgers - Paul Lo Duca, .283 avg.; Jeromy Burnitz, 25 HRs; Adrian Beltre, 63 RBIs; Shawn Green, 65 runs; Dave Roberts, 33 SBs. Astros - Richard Hidalgo, .304 avg.; Jeff Bagwell, 29 HRs, 88 runs and 8 SBs; Lance Berkman, 77 RBIs.
2002 SEASON SERIES: Astros, 4-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Dodgers - 3B Beltre, 0-for-4 on Tuesday, has driven in at least one run in 10 of his last 20 starts for a total of 22 RBIs. … RHP Nomo has held opponents to a .210 batting average, third-best in the NL. However, he has allowed just .188 on the road, where he is 8-3 with a 2.08 ERA. … Tuesday’s game marked the most runs allowed and the largest losing deficit for the Dodgers since a 20-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on May 5, 2001. Astros - 1B Bagwell needs three RBIs to become the 58th player in major league history to drive in 1,400 or more runs. … CF Biggio is batting .480 (12-for-25) with a homer, six RBIs over his last six games. … On Tuesday, the Astros came within one run of matching the highest-scoring game in franchise history, last done in 1999. Houston’s previous top run total this season was 13 on May 7 against Pittsburgh.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Dodgers - 30-34 on the road; Astros - 40-26 at home.
INJURIES: Dodgers - C Todd Hundley (back), 15-day DL; OF Brian Jordan (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Kazuhisa Ishii (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Darren Dreifort (knee), 60-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 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.