Philadelphia (62-62) at Houston (61-62)

Thunder Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Mon Aug 23, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Houston Astros swept a three-game series from the Philadelphia Phillies last week.

They’ll look to repeat that performance as they open another three-game set against the Phillies at Minute Maid Park.

After winning three straight at Citizens Bank Park, the Astros returned home and dropped two of three to the Chicago Cubs. They fell one game below .500 and are now sixth in the NL wild-card race—6 1/2 games behind the San Francisco Giants.

Craig Biggio, Mike Lamb and Eric Bruntlett all homered Sunday, but it was not enough in an 11-6 loss to the Cubs. Manager Phil Garner knows the fight for a playoff spot will not be easy.

“This puts us in a bind,” Garner said. “We’re not out of it, but it’s going to be tough.”

The Phillies are also trying to work their way back into the wild-card race.

After completing a 1-9 homestand—the worst 10-game homestand in the franchise’s 121-year history—the Phillies opened a six-game road trip by sweeping a three-game set from the Milwaukee Brewers.

“We bounced back and played hard this weekend,” manager Larry Bowa said. “When you’re playing on the road, you expect to get booed. But with the way we played at home recently, we should have gotten booed.”

Jason Michael’s RBI single in the top of the 10th on Sunday ignited a five-run rally to lead the Phillies to a 9-6 win.

“We had some good hitting in that inning,” Bowa said. “And we ended up needing a lot of them to get the win.”

Philadelphia is fifth in the wild-card race—six games behind San Francisco.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Lidle NYY vs. R. Clemens NYY
12-12 Record 18-4
4.90 ERA 2.98
126 K 218
61 BB 79
1.35 WHIP 1.16