If only Roy Oswalt could pitch every game at Minute Maid Park.
Oswalt will try to win his sixth straight start at home and help the Astros post their season-high fifth victory in a row when they conclude their interleague series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The 27-year-old right-hander allowed one run and four hits over seven innings in a 4-1 victory over Cincinnati on June 1 to stretch his home winning streak to five straight starts. Oswalt, who has posted a 1.50 ERA during his run, has not lost at Minute Maid since a 7-3 defeat to St. Louis on April 5.
For his career, Oswalt is 38-13 with a 2.65 ERA in 63 games, including 59 starts, at Minute Maid.
His success in Houston has come in contrast to his hard luck on the road. Oswalt hasn’t pitched poorly, but is just 1-6 despite his solid 3.67 ERA. The Astros, who have scored just six runs in his six road starts, are 7-23 away from home.
Oswalt allowed three runs and a career-high 12 hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 3-1 loss to the New York Mets at Shea Stadium on Tuesday. He struck out seven and walked one, but the Astros were shut down by Pedro Martinez, who threw a two-hitter.
“It wasn’t a night when he had his best control,” Houston manager Phil Garner said of Oswalt. “He wasn’t as sharp as he has been this year. That hurt him a little bit.”
Morgan Ensberg hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning Saturday to lift the Astros to a 6-3 win over the Blue Jays. The veteran third baseman is batting .314 (11-for-35) with four homers and 10 RBIs over his last nine games.
Right-hander Brad Lidge allowed two runs in the ninth to blow just his third save of the season and first since May 24th.
“I definitely made some bad pitches,” said Lidge, who has 16 saves. “I didn’t feel good about what I did, but I feel good about how the team came back.”
Roger Clemens allowed one run and three hits over seven innings for the Astros, who have won 10 of their last 15.
Houston hasn’t swept a series since taking a two-game set from Milwaukee in late April.
Alex Rios had a homer and two RBIs for Toronto, which has lost five of its last seven.