After extending his longest hitting streak in nearly five years and delivering a walkoff home run, Tejada looks to continue his recent surge as the Astros go for their season-high fourth straight win Wednesday night against the Colorado Rockies.
Tejada is batting .463 (31 for 67) during a 16-game hitting streak, his longest since a 19-game run from June 15-July 4, 2004, while with Baltimore. He had four hits Tuesday, including an 11th-inning home run that gave Houston (22-28) a 3-2 win and its first walkoff victory this season.
That was only the sixth homer of the year for Tejada, who’s hit at least 30 four times. The four-time All-Star has strung together four straight multihit games and leads the NL with 75 hits and a .362 batting average.
“I’ve never been leading the league (in hitting), not even for one day,” said Tejada, who drove in all three runs Tuesday. “Now, I’m really happy to be leading for a couple of days. But it’s not something I’m looking for. Right now, I just want to see how much I can help the team win some ballgames.”
Astros manager Cecil Cooper has had Tejada batting second for the last 10 games and the 2002 AL MVP said that’s affected his approach.
“What I’ve got in my head is just try to be on base as much as I can,” Tejada said. “Right now, I’m really close to leading off. I’m really selective in the pitches to hit, I can wait for the pitch I want. I am really careful with what I do at the plate.”
The Rockies (20-31) aren’t having nearly as much luck. They’ve totaled five runs during a three-game losing streak.
“This was a very tough game to lose,” said manager Jim Tracy, who fell to 2-3 since taking over for the fired Clint Hurdle on Friday. “The way things are going for us offensively, tonight’s game just illustrates it. We have no room for error. We had some chances to open this game up, but our pitchers had to be perfect.”
Jason Marquis(notes) (7-3, 3.93 ERA) isn’t perfect, but he’s pitched well lately. The right-hander has posted a 1.14 ERA while winning three straight starts, including a 3-0 victory over San Diego on Friday.
Marquis’ last game before his winning streak, however, was a brutal loss to the Astros. On May 13, he gave up nine runs - his most in nearly three years - over 3 2-3 innings of the 15-11 defeat. He’s 9-7 with a 5.59 ERA lifetime against Houston, and 3-2 with a 4.37 ERA at Minute Maid Park.
Astros first baseman Lance Berkman(notes) is 23 for 45 (.511) with 14 walks and a .627 on-base percentage in his career against Marquis. Outfielder Carlos Lee(notes) is 13 for 35 (.371) with four homers and two doubles against him.
The Astros’ Brian Moehler(notes) (2-3, 6.43) is coming off his best start of the year. The right-hander pitched a seven-hitter Friday for his first complete game since Aug. 8, 2000 in a 6-1 win over Pittsburgh.
Moehler is 1-2 with a 6.85 ERA in seven career games - three starts - against Colorado.