Houston (56-58) at Washington (47-66)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Montreal, QC
Temp: 37° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Aug 13, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Roger Clemens hopes to avoid his second straight loss to Montreal as the Houston Astros open a three-game series with the Expos at Olympic Stadium.

Clemens is 12-4 with a 2.63 ERA, but the hard-throwing right-hander has not pitched particularly well over the last two months. Clemens, 42, began the season 9-0 before going 3-4 with a 3.58 ERA in 11 starts since June 14.

Alex Gonzalez and Brian Schneider hit back-to-back homers as Montreal beat Clemens and the Astros 5-2 on Sunday.

“Any time you get two doubles off a future Hall of Famer, it’s big,” said Expos infielder Jamey Carroll, who had three hits against Clemens. “He’s one of the best pitchers of all-time. The guy comes right after you. He throws hard.”

Clemens went seven innings, allowing three runs—one earned—and eight hits. He struck out five and walked one.

“I felt good,” Clemens said. “But it’s disappointing to lose to a team like Montreal. If you let them stick around like we did today, they’ll beat you.”

Houston did not fare much better Thursday against the New York Mets. The Astros managed just two singles and scored one run to back starter Andy Pettitte in a 2-1 loss at New York.

Pettitte allowed one run and four hits in 5 2-3 innings, walking four and striking out five.

Houston lost two of three to New York and has dropped six of eight to fall 18 1/2 games behind St. Louis in the NL Central. The Astros are six games behind the Chicago Cubs for the NL wild card.

While the Astros have been sliding, Montreal has found the winning touch at home with 10 wins in their last 12 games at Olympic Stadium.

Tony Batista hit his 20th homer and drove in four runs, leading the Expos over Arizona 7-5 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep of the major league-worst Diamondbacks.

Montreal has won five straight overall.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Clemens NYY vs. J. Rauch KC
18-4 Record 4-1
2.98 ERA 2.81
218 K 22
79 BB 11
1.16 WHIP 1.28