Berkman went 1-for-3 in Houston’s 4-1 loss to Washington on Tuesday night, leaving him one hit shy of 1,000 for his career.
The veteran first baseman, who has 14 homers this season, is a lifetime .302 hitter. Even though he’s played only eight seasons, Berkman’s 999 hits rank 12th in team history. Teammate Craig Biggio is first with 2,846.
His 194 career homers are fourth in franchise history behind Jimmy Wynn (223), Biggio (264) and Jeff Bagwell (449).
The Astros (25-21) suffered a rare loss against the Nationals (17-29) on Tuesday. Houston had won nine of the last 12 meetings between the teams before Tuesday’s 4-1 defeat.
“We had our chances and we didn’t break through,” Houston manager Phil Garner said.
Roy Oswalt (5-3, 3.57 ERA) looks to get himself and the Astros back in the win column when he starts on Wednesday.
Oswalt has a two-game losing streak, and didn’t earn a decision in his last start on Friday against Texas, allowing 11 hits and three runs in 6 1-3 innings.
The right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA in his career against the Nationals. He didn’t earn a decision in his last start against Washington on April 8, allowing seven hits and five runs in 6 1-3 innings of the Nationals’ 12-8 win.
He is 1-0 in Washington, giving up just six hits over eight innings on July 21.
Alfonso Soriano—who hit his 16th homer on Tuesday night—is 2-for-17 with a homer in his career against Oswalt. The homer is the only one Oswalt has allowed to a Nationals player.
“This is the best start I’ve ever had,” said Soriano, who is tied for third in the majors in home runs with Cincinnati’s Adam Dunn. “I feel very comfortable at home plate. I have a little more power. I’m more selective. I’m looking at my pitches at home plate.”
After homering in only 35 of 81 home games last season, the Nationals homered in 13 of 18 games there in 2006.
Jackson has homered in three straight starts. He hit five last year for the Padres and his career-high is nine in 1999.
Rookie Mike O’Connor (2-2, 2.89), who’s pitched well, looks to avoid losing consecutive starts for the first time when he takes the mound in his first career start against Houston. The left-hander hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his five starts, but hasn’t won since May 7.
He gave up six hits and two runs in a 5-1 loss to Baltimore on Friday.