Duckworth looks to turn in a stronger performance in his fourth spot start as Pettitte’s replacement as the Astros open a three-game interleague series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Duckworth has made three starts this season, all in place of Pettitte, who was on the disabled list from April 7-29 with a strained left elbow muscle and was placed there again on May 31 with a strained muscle in his left forearm.
Duckworth has earned a 1-0 record with a 7.50 ERA as a starter for the Astros, who are 4-0 in games that Pettitte has not been able to start. Duckworth, who has also made nine relief appearances this season, allowed three earned runs and four hits—including three solo homers—in just three innings of the Astros’ 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs Tuesday, but did not receive a decision.
“We knew Duckworth wasn’t going to be able to go deep in that game,” Houston manager Jimy Williams said. “I know those relievers. In their mind, they said, we’re going to win this game. They knew there was going to be a few of them in there. Fortunately, they pitched very well.”
The Astros beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 on Sunday for their fourth win in seven games. Jose Vizcaino went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, and Raul Chavez hit a tiebreaking double for Houston, which rebounded nicely from Saturday’s 10-4 loss.
“When I start, I try to do the best I can,” said Chavez, a backup catcher who was making his first start in six days. “I don’t get to play that much so I want to work as hard as I can.”
The Mariners beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Sunday for their second straight win since a three-game losing streak. The Mariners, who own the worst record in the American League, scored three runs in the ninth inning, including the game-winner on a bases-loaded walk by Chicago closer Billy Koch.
Randy Winn went 4-for-5 with a towering homer and a double for Seattle, which is a season low-matching 15 games under .500.
“That’s probably as far as I’ve hit a ball,” Winn said of his 431-foot homer that hit off a window of a second-deck restaurant in right field in the seventh inning.
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