Pittsburgh (62-72) at Houston (71-63)

Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 62° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Sep 4, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Houston Astros hope to continue their power surge at the plate when they play the middle game of their series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Astros have won 10 of 11 and have moved within 2 1/2 games of the Chicago Cubs, the NL wild-card leader.

The Astros have won six straight games, scoring at least seven runs each time. They have hit 14 home runs and scored 36 runs over the last four games.

Jeff Bagwell, Carlos Beltran, Craig Biggio and Jose Vizcaino homered to lead Houston to an 8-6 win over Pittsburgh on Friday.

The Astros could have had five homers, but Pirates right fielder Rob Mackowiak robbed Beltran of a homer in the first, leaping high to snatch away the ball just as it reached the fence.

Beltran is batting .270 with 22 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 47 RBIs in 62 games since getting traded from Kanas City to Houston in July. The All-Star outfielder has 37 homers and 36 stolen bases total in 131 total games this season.

Beltran is looking to join Jose Canseco (1988), Barry Bonds (1996) and Alex Rodriguez (1998) as the fourth player to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in a season.

In addition to Beltran, Lance Berkman has six home runs over the last seven games to give him 25 on the season and second baseman Jeff Kent has three homers in his last three games.

Houston will try to continue its home run tear against Pittsburgh starter Josh Fogg.

Fogg has been better than is 9-9 record. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA over his last four starts. He has been solid since the All-Star break with a 2.58 ERA in nine starts.

The Pirates have lost two in a row and six of their last eight overall.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Fogg Phi vs. C. Hernandez TB
11-10 Record 1-3
4.64 ERA 6.43
82 K 26
66 BB 23
1.45 WHIP 1.74