Pittsburgh (62-73) at Houston (72-63)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 92° F
  • Game info: 2:05 pm EDT Sun Sep 5, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The resurgent Houston Astros look to continue their best run of the season when they complete a three-game series with the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

Houston was four games below .500 and well out of both races for the postseason on Aug. 14. However, the Astros have since salvaged what was looking like an embarrassing season with 16 wins in their last 19 games.

Mike Lamb hit a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning Saturday as the Astros extended their season-high winning streak to eight games with a 6-5 victory over the Pirates. The win moved Houston within two games of the Chicago Cubs in the NL wild-card race.

“We just found a different way to win without just outslugging somebody,” Astros manager Phil Garner said. “You’re not going to hit four or five home runs every night.”

Jeff Bagwell has spearheaded the Astros’ run, batting .436 (17-for-39) with four home runs, 12 RBIs and 11 runs during a nine-game hitting streak.

Teammate Lance Berkman has hit safely in 26 of his last 31 games, raising his average from .296 to .313 since Aug. 1. Berkman has six home runs and 15 RBIs in his last 12 games.

Jason Bay and Jack Wilson homered Saturday for Pittsburgh, which has lost 13 of its last 18. Pittsburgh was mathematically eliminated from the NL Central race.

“We do this all the time—we play tough against the best teams,” Wilson said. “We may not be better talented, but we are not going to give up.”

The Pirates have homered in 13 of their last 16 games, and 16 of their last 20

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Starting Pitchers

K. Wells SD vs. P. Munro Min
5-7 Record 4-7
4.55 ERA 5.15
116 K 63
66 BB 26
1.53 WHIP 1.46