Houston (54-66) at Los Angeles (61-59)

Fair Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 58° F
  • Game info: 10:10 pm EDT Thu Aug 16, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Wandy Rodriguez has been terrible on the road all season. Derek Lowe, meanwhile, has struggled wherever he has pitched lately.

Lowe tries for his first win in nearly two months, and the Los Angeles Dodgers look to take advantage of one of baseball’s worst road pitchers when they try to salvage a split of a four-game set with the Houston Astros on Thursday night.

Los Angeles (61-59) got another win from Brad Penny to beat Houston 6-3 on Wednesday night. It was the Dodgers’ first win of the series, and only their fourth in their last 17 games.

While Penny is among the majors’ leaders in wins, Lowe (8-11, 3.61 ERA) is winless since June 22 and is 0-3 with a 7.58 ERA in four starts and one relief appearance since July 19.

The veteran right-hander gave up five runs - three earned - and seven hits in six innings as Los Angeles lost 6-1 at St. Louis on Saturday.

Lowe’s last three starts at Dodger Stadium have been even worse. He’s lost all three and posted a ghastly 10.05 ERA in the process.

In his only start against Houston (54-66) this season, Lowe allowed one run and four hits in four innings of a 2-1 road loss on July 25. Lowe is 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA in five starts against the Astros.

The Astros will counter with Rodriguez (7-10, 4.34 ERA), who is 1-8 with an 8.16 ERA on the road. A loss Thursday would put him into a tie with three other pitchers for the most road losses in the majors.

“I don’t know what happens (on the road),” Rodriguez told the Astros’ official Web site. “I feel great, but when I go out there, I just don’t know.”

The left-hander gave up one run and six hits in seven innings, but did not receive a decision as Houston lost at home 7-4 to Milwaukee on Saturday night.

He is 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA in two starts and a relief appearance against the Dodgers, holding them to a .192 batting average.

Rodriguez will not have to face Dodgers third baseman Nomar Garciaparra, who is hitting .462 (6-for-13) against him. Los Angeles put Garciaparra on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday because of a strained left calf muscle.

Rodriguez, however, will have to contend with Russell Martin and Juan Pierre, who both had big games Wednesday.

Martin hit two home runs in a game for the first time in his big league career, becoming the first Dodgers catcher to homer twice in a game since Sept. 14, 2003, when David Ross did it against San Diego. The All-Star leads all NL catchers with 71 RBIs and 122 hits.

Pierre, meanwhile, stole his 47 and 48th bases of the season, the second-highest total by a Dodger since Steve Sax had 56 in 1983. Eric Young had 51 steals in 1999.

Pierre is 10-for-17 (.588) with four stolen bases in his last four games for Los Angeles, which trails first-place Arizona by 6 1/2 games in the NL West.

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Starting Pitchers

W. Rodríguez Atl vs. D. Lowe Tex
9-13 Record 12-14
4.58 ERA 3.88
158 K 147
62 BB 59
1.32 WHIP 1.27


Thursday, Aug 16