Houston (32-32) at Chicago (26-36)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Chicago, IL
Temp: 41° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Tue Jun 13, 2006
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The Chicago Cubs look to win four straight games for the first time this season when they host the Houston Astros in the opener of a three-game series on Tuesday.

Chicago (26-36) won the last three games of its four-game set with Cincinnati over the weekend to match its season-high win streak, last set from April 23-25. The Cubs ended their season-high 10-game road trip with a 6-4 record.

“That was just a good road trip,” said Phil Nevin, who homered in Chicago’s 9-3 victory on Sunday. “To play over .500 in your division on the road … championship teams do that.”

Nevin is expected to make his Cubs home debut on Tuesday after being acquired from Texas on May 31, the day before Chicago began its trip. Nevin is 5-for-21 (.238) with two homers and four RBIs in seven games with the Cubs.

“I’m looking forward to getting to Wrigley,” he said. “That’s the best part of being a Cub, I think.”

Rookie left-hander Sean Marshall (3-4, 4.43 ERA) hopes to end a three-game losing streak when he starts for the Cubs on Tuesday. Marshall allowed just one run and four hits over seven innings in his last outing, but lost 1-0 to Houston on Wednesday.

“It’s unfortunate to get a loss in a game like this,” Marshall said, “but that’s just baseball.”

Marshall has allowed two runs or fewer in eight of his last 10 starts, including the last three.

The Astros (32-32) will counter with Andy Pettitte, who is coming off a victory over Atlanta on Thursday. The left-hander bounced back from allowing seven runs in his previous start by giving up just two over six innings in a 7-4 win over the Braves.

Pettitte is 1-3 with an 8.64 ERA and opponents are hitting .366 against him in five road starts this season. He is 0-1 with a 7.11 ERA in three outings at Wrigley Field and 0-2 with a 4.40 ERA in six starts against the Cubs.

Houston won for the fifth time in six games on Sunday, 14-4 over Atlanta, and will be trying to move over .500 for the first time since being 26-25 on May 28. The Astros started the season with 19 wins in their first 28 games.

“We’re going in the right direction,” manager Phil Garner said.

Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez sat out on Sunday, one day after he was hit by a pitch on his right elbow, but is expected to return on Tuesday. Ramirez is .625 (5-for-8) with a homer and three doubles against Pettitte.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Pettitte NYY vs. S. Marshall Cin
14-13 Record 6-9
4.20 ERA 5.59
178 K 77
70 BB 59
1.44 WHIP 1.52