Pittsburgh (50-67) at Houston (63-53)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 97° F
  • Game info: 2:05 pm EDT Sun Aug 14, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After failing to produce in yet another Roger Clemens start, the NL wild card-leading Houston Astros hope to provide some support for rookie Ezequiel Astacio in the finale of a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Astros had their three-game winning streak snapped with Saturday’s 1-0 loss. Houston had scored 34 runs in its previous five games before being shut down by Pittsburgh’s Kip Wells.

Clemens allowed two hits in eight scoreless innings, lowering his major league-leading ERA to 1.32, but Jack Wilson homered off Houston closer Brad Lidge in the ninth.

It was the ninth no-decision for the 43-year-old Clemens, and the sixth time the Astros have failed to score for him this year.

“This is tough. We got such great pitching from Rocket,” Astros manager Phil Garner said. “We had opportunities but couldn’t get them across the board. That’s tough.”

Wilson homered leading off the ninth against Lidge, his seventh of the season.

“As hitters, we got dominated,” Wilson said. “This is lucky. (Clemens) absolutely shoved it down our throats. That’s why you give all the credit to Kip for keeping it close.”

Astacio is winless in five home appearances, including four starts, this season, going 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA.

Saturday’s win ended the Pirates’ five-losing streak against the Astros and was just their fifth victory in their last 26 games in Houston.

Starting Pitchers

D. Williams Was vs. E. Astacio ChC
10-11 Record 3-6
4.41 ERA 5.67
88 K 66
58 BB 25
1.41 WHIP 1.54