Houston (16-8) at Milwaukee (14-11)

Snow Showers Currently: Milwaukee, WI, US
Temp: 23° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Mon May 1, 2006
  • TV: KNWS
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Carlos Lee capped a big weekend on offense for the Milwaukee Brewers in record fashion.

The left fielder hopes to continue his strong play as May starts when the Brewers open a two-game series with the Houston Astros on Monday at Miller Park.

Lee set a team record with his 10th homer in the month of April, highlighting a 9-0 rout Sunday of the Chicago Cubs. Milwaukee (14-11) hit eight homers and scored 25 runs in lopsided victories over Chicago in the final two games of a three-game series.

“It seems like every time I face him, I see the ball pretty good against him and I have good at bats,” said Lee, who hit a second-inning homer off Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano.

Bill Hall was a double shy of the cycle and drove in three runs for the Brewers, who have five players with at least four homers. Right fielder Geoff Jenkins has three consecutive multihit games—going 7-for-13 in that span— and has a seven-game hitting streak.

Astros pitcher Wandy Rodriguez (4-0, 2.53 ERA) will try and slow the Brewers offense as he seeks a career-high fourth straight victory. The left-hander has won his last three starts, limiting opponents to three runs and 13 hits in 20 innings.

Rodriguez, who held the Los Angeles Dodgers to two runs and five hits in seven innings Wednesday, went 2-0 with a 3.44 ERA in three starts against the Brewers as a rookie in 2005.

Lee has hit only two of his 10 homers at home this season, and he is just 1-for-9 with one RBI lifetime against Rodriguez.

The Brewers turn to Tomo Okha (2-1, 3.72) as they try for their sixth win in seven games. The Japanese right-hander pitched well Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves, limiting them to two runs in seven innings of a 4-2 win. But Okha is just 1-3 with a 6.38 ERA in four lifetime starts against the Astros.

Houston (13-8) avoided a sweep by Cincinnati with a 3-2 victory Sunday to wrap up a three-game series. Lance Berkman hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and Jason Lane added a solo shot in the fourth for Houston, which will re-enter the Roger Clemens sweepstakes Monday with the new calendar month.

Houston could not pursue Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, due to baseball rules that prevent a free agent re-signing with his former team either before Dec. 7 or until May 1.

“This opens up a window of opportunity for us,” general manager Tim Purpura said Sunday from Houston. “We have said that we are interested in getting Roger back. We would love to have him be a part of our team.”

Clemens went 13-8 with a career-low 1.87 ERA for the Astros last season, helping them win the NL pennant. The 43-year-old Clemens has gone 31-12 in two seasons with Houston and is eighth on the all-time wins list with 341 and second with 4,502 strikeouts.

Despite the optimism of having the chance to sign the future Hall of Fame, Astros manager Phil Garner continues to plan on going forward as if the team won’t sign Clemens.

“We’d like to have him back, but he’s not a factor in our ballclub,” Garner said before Sunday’s game. “We planned our ballclub without Rocket. He told us in the winter that he shouldn’t be a factor. We’re not waiting for him. We’re not holding back.”

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Starting Pitchers

W. Rodríguez HOU vs. T. Ohka TOR
9-10 Record 4-5
5.64 ERA 4.82
98 K 50
63 BB 35
1.60 WHIP 1.37