Texas (44-32) at Houston (40-38)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX, US
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Fri Jul 2, 2004
  • TV: FSSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Despite his best efforts, Carlos Beltran hasn’t been able to help the Houston Astros win many games so far.

Beltran leads the slumping Astros as they begin a three-game series against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park.

Houston’s new centerfielder is hitting .290 (10-for-24) with four home runs and six RBIs in six games since he was acquired from Kansas City.

Despite Beltran’s efforts, the Astros have lost four of their last six games to fall into fifth place in the NL Central.

Beltran homered from both sides of the plate to help the Astros rally from a 4-0 deficit, but Sammy Sosa drove one out against closer Brad Lidge in the 10th to give the Cubs a 5-4 win Thursday.

Beltran, who finished with four homers in the three-game series while extending his hitting streak to a career-best 15 games.

“He’s awesome, a good player,” Sosa said. “Every chance he had to come through in the clutch, he did it. He has a good future there in Houston.”

Beltran has played well against Texas in his career. The All-Star outfielder has a .329 batting average, 11 home runs and 44 RBIs in 54 games against the Rangers.

Houston will have its hands full with a Texas team that has won 10 of its last 13 games to take command of the AL West.

The Rangers are looking to get back on track after splitting four games with the last place Seattle Mariners.

Texas pitchers gave up 12 hits and eight runs in an 8-4 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

The Rangers are counting on right-hander Ryan Drese to fare better on Friday. Drese is winless on the road, going 0-4 with a 5.11 ERA in seven starts.

He’s been pitching well of late, allowing only three earned runs over the last 17 innings, a span of two starts.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Drese HOU vs. R. Oswalt COL
14-10 Record 20-10
4.20 ERA 3.49
98 K 206
58 BB 62
1.40 WHIP 1.24