Houston (55-57) at New York (53-58)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Wed Aug 11, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Roy Oswalt has been spending a lot of time working on his changeup. It’s paying off.

Oswalt will try to win his fifth consecutive start when the Houston Astros meet the New York Mets in the middle game of their series at Shea Stadium.

The 26-year-old right-hander has been dominant during his four-start winning streak, allowing six earned runs over 30 innings for a 1.80 ERA. After pitching a five-hitter in a 4-0 win over the Montreal Expos on Friday, he credited his recent success to working with pitching coach Jim Hickey on his changeup.

“I’ve been trying to get it over more,” Oswalt said. “I probably threw it 25 or 30 times tonight, and I usually only throw it five or six times. It’s a pitch that can get you deep into games.”

Oswalt struck out eight and walked one in his second shutout of the season.

“I really thought Roy got stronger as the game went on,” Astros manager Phil Garner said. “I actually thought in that last inning he was throwing freer and easier than he was the first inning.”

Oswalt was scheduled to be opposed by Tom Glavine, but Glavine will miss his start after he was involved in a car accident Tuesday while going from LaGuardia Airport to nearby Shea Stadium in a taxi cab.

Glavine lost his two front upper teeth and got stitches for a cut lower lip. He was scheduled to be released from a hospital Tuesday night and is not expected to miss more than one start.

“I’m just thankful it’s not worse,” Mets manager Art Howe said.

As Glavine recovers from the accident, Matt Ginter will take his turn in the rotation. The 26-year-old right-hander, who made 11 starts earlier this season, has not pitched since allowing one run over two innings of relief in an 8-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves on July 31.

The Mets had lost three straight before topping the Astros 7-3 in Tuesday’s series opener.

Rookie third baseman David Wright singled home the go-ahead run and later hit his first Shea Stadium homer, and Jose Reyes went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs. Wright’s previous three homers had all come on the road.

“This one was definitely more exciting,” Wright said. “Just to hear the crowd cheering sends chills down your spine.”

The Astros have lost five of their last six.

“The funk has got us so cloudy we’re not sure what we’re doing,” Garner said. “When you pitch poorly, you’ve got to score a lot of runs and we haven’t been doing that.”

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Starting Pitchers

R. Oswalt Col vs. M. Ginter Mil
20-10 Record 1-3
3.49 ERA 4.54
206 K 38
62 BB 20
1.24 WHIP 1.47