Los Angeles (40-47) at Houston (43-43)

Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 54° F
  • Game info: 2:05 pm EDT Sun Jul 10, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The surging Houston Astros will look to climb above .500 for the first time since April when they try for a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Roy Oswalt won his sixth straight start and Orlando Palmeiro hit a home run as the Astros beat the Dodgers 4-2 on Saturday to climb back to .500 for the first time since being 8-8 on April 22.

Houston hasn’t been over the break-even mark since April 21, and had dropped as far as 15 games below .500 by May 24. However, the Astros have since won 10 of 12 series.

“It’s a feel-good thing to get to .500,” Houston manager Phil Garner said. “We have to continue it now. We don’t want to look back and we certainly don’t want to go back where we were.”

Craig Biggio had two hits Saturday to give him 2,730 for his career and move him into a tie with San Francisco’s Barry Bonds, who has been injured all season. Biggio is in his 18th season, all with Houston.

“The guys never gave up,” Biggio said of the team’s surge. “That’s what it’s all about. The guys have a lot to be proud of over the break.”

All-Star closer Brad Lidge, who had missed 11 games with a sore right biceps, earned his 19th save in 22 chances for Houston, which had its sixth victory in seven games and 14 in the last 16 at home.

Jeff Kent went 3-for-4 for the injury-riddled Dodgers, who have lost three straight and six of eight.

“Like I’ve said the last few weeks, there’s no room for error with the way our offense has been,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “Forty-five of our 87 games have been decided by two runs or less. We are in the biggest majority of the games. The thing that’s holding us up is our (lack of) offensive firepower.”

Odalis Perez will get the ball for the Dodgers. He has struggled mightily over his last four starts, going 0-4 with a 6.17 ERA.

The veteran left-hander gave up four runs and eight hits over five innings in a 6-1 loss to Colorado on Tuesday—his first start back after being sidelined with a sore shoulder for three weeks.

Perez is winless against Houston in his career, going 0-3 with a 15.15 ERA in four games, including three starts. He has given up 23 runs and 23 hits in 13 2-3 innings against the Astros.

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Starting Pitchers

O. Perez Was vs. B. Backe Hou
7-8 Record 10-8
4.56 ERA 4.76
74 K 97
28 BB 67
1.26 WHIP 1.46