Houston (82-69) at Pittsburgh (62-89)

Cloudy Currently: Pittsburgh, PA
Temp: 56° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Wed Sep 21, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Roy Oswalt’s second-half funk hasn’t kept the Houston Astros from taking the lead in the tightly packed NL wild-card race.

That doesn’t mean the right-hander wants to continue getting mediocre results.

Oswalt will try to end a two-start winless streak when the Astros continue a four-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.

Oswalt is 5-5 with a 3.62 ERA in 13 starts since the All-Star break, while Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte have pitched Houston toward its second consecutive wild-card title. Last year, Oswalt and Clemens led the charge with Pettitte sidelined by an elbow injury. Oswalt went a career-best 20-10 last season, and was the NL’s only 20-game winner.

Clemens, however, took home his seventh Cy Young Award.

Oswalt did help the Astros to a 2-1 victory over Milwaukee on Friday. He did not receive a decision after allowing one run and eight hits over 7 1-3 strong innings.

The Astros rebounded from a series-opening 7-0 loss by beating the Pirates 7-4 on Tuesday behind Pettitte, who picked up his seventh straight win.

“It seemed like I was in trouble in every inning, but the guys picked me up and played great defense and scored some runs,” Pettitte said.

Houston won for the sixth time in seven games and increased its lead in the wild-card hunt to two games over Philadelphia and three over Florida.

Pittsburgh had its four-game winning streak snapped.

The Pirates will counter Oswalt with Kip Wells, who is 1-7 with a 5.86 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star break.

Related Articles

Starting Pitchers

R. Oswalt Col vs. K. Wells LAA
20-12 Record 8-18
2.94 ERA 5.09
184 K 132
48 BB 99
1.20 WHIP 1.57