Craig Biggio was the starting catcher for the Houston Astros the day he got his first major league hit 19 years ago, when Colorado didn’t have a team. He’s certainly gotten plenty of hits against the Rockies since their 1993 inception, though.
Needing three hits for 3,000 in his career, Biggio is expected to be in the lineup for the Astros as they open a four-game series with the Rockies on Thursday night.
Biggio popped up a bunt as a pinch-hitter Wednesday, when Houston (32-46) lost the finale of a three-game set at Milwaukee, 6-3 in 11 innings. He only had one hit in the series, but expects to be back in the lineup for the opener of an 11-game homestand.
“It just takes time,” Biggio told the Astros’ official Web site. “There’s no magic button where you can say, ‘Hey, I just want to get three hits.’ You have to go out there and play. Guys make plays against you.”
The Astros second baseman, who entered the majors as a catcher, got his first hit on June 29, 1988, against the Los Angeles Dodgers. At the time, the Rockies (38-40) were still five years from playing their first game.
Biggio has been outstanding in 122 games against Colorado, batting .347 (165-for-476) - his highest average against any NL opponent - with 20 home runs, eight triples and 34 doubles.
Houston is coming off a 2-7 road trip, but has won 17 of its last home meetings with the Rockies.
Astros ace Roy Oswalt (7-5, 3.55 ERA) is 3-1 with a 1.63 ERA in four starts against the Rockies in Houston, and 5-1 with a 2.27 ERA in seven overall outings against them for his career.
Oswalt, though, had a poor start in Colorado on June 7, allowing four runs and nine hits in six innings as the Astros lost 7-6.
The right-hander is just 1-3 over his last eight starts, including a 7-2 defeat at Texas on Saturday in which he gave up three runs, eight hits and four walks in 6 1-3 innings.
Colorado lost its sixth straight game Wednesday, 6-4 to the Chicago Cubs. The skid, Colorado’s longest since last August, comes immediately after the Rockies won 20 of 27.
“It’s almost strange,” said Jason Hirsh, who started and took the loss for the Rockies Wednesday. “We came off such a hot streak and all of a sudden everybody got ice cold. I just think it’s a matter of going out and doing what we do.”
Aaron Cook (4-5, 4.93) has been slumping for longer than the rest of the team, going 0-4 with a 6.82 ERA in his last five starts. The right-handed sinkerballer gave up eight runs - six earned - and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings as the Rockies lost 11-6 to Toronto on Saturday.
Cook struggled against Houston on June 6, but did not receive a decision after allowing five runs and seven hits in six innings as Colorado won 8-7. Lifetime, he is 3-0 with a 4.60 ERA in five starts and a relief appearance against the Astros.
Colorado won two of three games at home against Houston from June 5-7, totaling 15 runs and 29 hits en route to wins in the final two contests.