Houston (32-44) at Milwaukee (44-32)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Milwaukee, WI
Temp: 39° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Tue Jun 26, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Houston Astros second baseman Craig Biggio is closing in on an impressive milestone, but his history against Milwaukee starter Claudio Vargas has been pretty forgettable.

Biggio is expected to make his only start of this three-game series against the Brewers when the NL Central rivals meet in the middle contest on Tuesday night at Miller Park.

Biggio is four hits shy of becoming the 27th player in history with 3,000 or more. His last hit was a tiebreaking RBI double in the 10th inning on Sunday night to help the Astros (32-44) beat Texas 12-9, but he wasn’t in the lineup for Monday’s 6-1 defeat to the Brewers (44-32).

The 41-year-old Biggio is also expected to sit out Wednesday’s finale, but manager Phil Garner said he would be available to pinch hit. Unless he has a breakout game Tuesday, Biggio will likely reach the mark on Houston’s upcoming 11-game homestand.

“I just want it to happen, no matter when or where,” said Biggio, who is hitting .238 with five homers, 21 doubles and 26 RBIs this season. “Obviously, I’d love for it to happen in Houston, I think the fans in Houston deserve it, but we’ve got to win some games, so we’ll see what happens.”

Biggio is just 1-for-12 during his career versus Vargas (6-1, 4.09 ERA), who tries to win his fourth straight decision when he takes the ball for Milwaukee.

The right-hander held San Francisco scoreless in the first five innings Wednesday, before giving up a grand slam in the sixth. He still managed to earn a 7-5 victory as the Brewers improved to 11-2 in his 13 starts this season.

Vargas is 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA in seven career games versus the Astros, including a 3-1 victory on April 29 when he pitched five scoreless innings and scattered four hits.

The division-leading Brewers have won five of seven meetings between the teams this season and are an NL-best 28-13 at home. Ben Sheets won his fifth straight decision Monday for Milwaukee, which has won 10 of its last 12 games overall.

“Winning is always fun,” said Brewers third baseman Ryan Braun, who had an RBI double. “As long as we’re winning, we’re definitely having fun. The biggest thing is just everybody contributing.”

Prince Fielder hit his NL-leading 27th home run while J.J. Hardy returned after missing the previous three contests with stiffness in his lower back to hit his 18th homer. Corey Hart extended his career-high hitting streak to 12 games, batting .382 with six homers and 16 RBIs during that stretch.

He is 7-for-12 with a double versus Wandy Rodriguez (4-6, 4.20), who will take the mound for Houston. The left-hander has struggled to a 1-4 record with a 6.08 ERA in seven road starts, including a no-decision in an 8-4 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday in which he allowed four runs over 6 1-3 innings.

Rodriguez is 2-3 with a 4.95 ERA in eight career games versus the Brewers, including a 6-4 defeat on April 21 when he gave up six runs over six innings while striking out seven.

Houston has dropped four of its last five games and is 15-26 on the road— the worst mark in the NL.

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Starting Pitchers

W. Rodríguez KC vs. C. Vargas Tor
9-13 Record 11-6
4.58 ERA 5.09
158 K 107
62 BB 54
1.32 WHIP 1.54


Tuesday, Jun 26