For the Houston Astros, it has been a case of better late than never.
Coming off another late-inning rally for a victory, the Astros seek their sixth consecutive victory Saturday when they continue a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Craig Biggio snapped a 2-all tie with his third career grand slam in the top of the ninth inning in Friday’s 6-5 victory. The Astros (9-6) had rallied for victories in each of their previous two games by scoring five runs in the eighth inning.
“You just get the feeling on the bench that something’s going to work,” Astros manager Phil Garner said of his team’s late-game heroics.
Biggio, whose hit was also the 2,945th of his 20-year career, had not hit a grand slam since July 24, 1994.
“I was trying to get the ball in the air a little bit and definitely got the bonus out of it,” Biggio told the Astros’ official Web site. “It was one of those crazy games.”
The veteran second baseman, though, is batting .238 (15-for-63) this season, and just .234 (41-for-175) lifetime at Miller Park.
Houston has won eight of its last nine after a 1-5 start to overtake Milwaukee (9-7) for the NL Central lead.
Wandy Rodriguez (0-1, 2.77 ERA) will try to extend Houston’s winning streak. The left-hander is coming off a solid start against Florida on Monday, when he limited the Marlins to one run in six innings, but did not receive a decision in Houston’s 4-3 victory.
Rodriguez hasn’t earned a win since July 2, going 0-6 with a 6.39 ERA in eight starts and 14 appearances. He went 0-2 with a 5.17 ERA in four appearances — three starts—against Milwaukee in 2006.
For the Brewers, Friday’s loss was a case of missed opportunities. They went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 runners, including two in the bottom of the ninth after a three-run homer by Prince Fielder to make it a one-run game.
“We did have a couple of opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said.
Fielder’s two home runs this season have come at Miller Park. As a rookie in 2006, he hit 17 of his 28 home runs on the road.
Rickie Weeks went 0-for-2 with three walks, ending a modest seven-game hitting streak during which he went 10-for-30 with three homers and 10 runs scored. Weeks, though, is batting just .212 (7-for-33) at home.
The Brewers hope to bounce back with left-hander Chris Capuano (2-0, 2.81) on the mound. The left-hander has won his last two starts, including Monday’s at Cincinnati in which he allowed three unearned runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings of Milwaukee’s 10-6 victory.
Capuano is 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA in six career starts against the Astros. He won his only start against them last year, allowing two runs and five hits in 7 2/3 innings.