Houston (44-43) at Los Angeles (47-38)

Fair Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 74° F
  • Game info: 4:10 pm EDT Sun Jul 11, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Roy Oswalt has been dominant in recent outings.

He’ll try to win his fifth consecutive start when the Houston Astros close their four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

During his four-start winning streak, the 26-year-old right-hander has allowed nine earned runs in 31 1-3 innings. Before the streak, he had won just two of his previous 11 starts.

Oswalt gave up one run and six hits over 7 1-3 innings Wednesday in a 5-1 victory over the San Diego Padres.

“I’ve been struggling with my curveball,” Oswalt said. “But tonight, I worked through it and felt pretty good and threw some good pitches.”

Oswalt will now try to help the Astros earn a split of their four-game series.

Los Angeles starter Wilson Alvarez allowed one run and three hits in six-plus innings Saturday, and Paul Lo Duca hit a three-run homer to lead the Dodgers to a 3-1 win.

Eric Gagne pitched two perfect innings—striking out Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman and Jeff Kent in order in the ninth—for his 23rd save this season. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner also broke Jeff Shaw’s club record for saves with his 130th.

It was only Gagne’s second career two-inning save.

“I’d go 12 outs if they need me to,” Gagne said.

Los Angeles has won seven of its last eight.

The Astros, who won 3-2 on Friday, have lost five of their last seven. At only one game above .500, they know they’ll have some work to do following the All-Star break.

“We’re in everyone else’s rearview mirror right now,” Houston pitcher Roger Clemens said. “You want to see smiles on these other guys’ faces here. When other guys are smiling, that’s when I’ll be happy.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Oswalt Col vs. J. Lima NYM
20-10 Record 13-5
3.49 ERA 4.07
206 K 93
62 BB 34
1.24 WHIP 1.24