Miami (6-5) at Houston (4-6)

Fair Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Mon Apr 16, 2007
  • TV: FSFL, KNWS
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Florida Marlins look to bounce back from their worst pitching performance of the season when they open a two-game set with the Houston Astros on Monday night.

Five Florida pitchers gave up a season-high eight earned runs in an 8-4 loss to Atlanta on Sunday in the finale of a rain shortened-series. The Marlins’ previous high was seven earned runs in a 7-6 defeat to Washington on April 4.

Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 5.40 ERA) will try to help Florida (6-5) rebound after earning a win in his last outing, when he gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings of a 5-3 victory over Milwaukee on April 9. The right-hander won his only career start against the Astros, holding them to two hits and a walk in seven shutout innings for a 3-1 victory July 14.

Florida struggled against Braves starter Tim Hudson on Sunday after reaching a season high in runs in its previous game, an 11-4 win over Atlanta on Friday night.

The only run off Hudson came in the first when Hanley Ramirez led off with a single, stole second and went to third on an infield single by Dan Uggla. Ramirez scored when Miguel Cabrera, who entered the game leading the National League with a .429 average and 13 RBIs, grounded into a double play.

Cabrera failed to pick up an RBI for just the third time in 11 games. He has struggled in his career against the Astros (4-6), batting .195 (15-for-77) with 22 strikeouts.

Cabrera will be facing Houston left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (0-1, 3.86 ERA), who gave up three runs and four hits over seven innings in his season debut against St. Louis. He walked none and struck out five, but was charged with the loss in a 4-2 defeat April 6.

Rodriguez is 1-1 with a 6.17 ERA in two starts and two relief appearances against Florida. He was supposed to start the Astros’ series finale against Philadelphia, but the game was postponed because of rain and has not yet been rescheduled.

While the Marlins are looking to get their pitching on track, the Astros haven’t been much better. Rodriguez will be trying to give a boost to a Houston staff that has allowed 14 runs and 25 hits in its last two games.

The Astros tied a season high with seven earned runs and gave up a season-worst 14 hits in an 8-5 loss at Philadelphia on Saturday.

Houston had won three straight.

Astros center fielder Chris Burke went 0-for-3 on Saturday and is batting .176 (6-for-34) on the season. Burke, though, seems to have adjusted well defensively after switching from second base to the outfield.

“Chris is a good athlete and he’s judging the ball off the bat well,” Houston manager Phil Garner said. “But when someone takes a big swing, you’ll see Chris make a big jump. It still amazes me that every time I see a Major League game, they make it look so easy.”

The Astros went 4-3 against the Marlins in 2006.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Sánchez Det vs. W. Rodríguez Pit
2-1 Record 9-13
4.80 ERA 4.58
14 K 158
19 BB 62
2.07 WHIP 1.32

Scoreboard

Monday, Apr 16