Oswalt will try to snap his team’s seven-game slide Tuesday night by winning his eighth straight home start against Arizona.
Difficulty getting runners across the plate has been nothing new for the NL-worst Astros (8-17), who have scored a major league-low 73 times this season. However, it’s been especially tough lately.
Houston has produced 13 runs over its seven straight losses - one shy of matching its 0-8 start to this season - and has scored once in each of its past three, including Monday night’s 9-1 defeat to Arizona.
The Astros pushed across that lone run on Carlos Lee’s(notes) first-inning double but were overwhelmed after that by the NL’s top scoring team (153 runs). Houston native Chris Snyder(notes) helped the Diamondbacks (12-14) snap a three-game slide with his third homer in four games - a go-ahead, three-run shot in the fourth inning.
Fellow Houston native Chris Young went 3 for 5 with three RBIs and raised his batting average back to .300. Young is hitting .390 (16 for 41) in his last 10 games.
“I told (them) both, it’s their town,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “So they can carry us through this four-game series if they feel up for it.”
Snyder has hit a solo homer and doubled in seven career at-bats against Oswalt (2-3, 2.73 ERA), and Young is 5 for 13 with a home run. The rest of Arizona’s hitters haven’t gotten much else off the veteran right-hander.
Oswalt is 9-1 with a 1.96 ERA in 11 lifetime starts against the Diamondbacks and has posted a 0.87 ERA while winning every career matchup at home.
Extending that win streak to eight Tuesday would also help Houston avoid a sixth straight loss to Arizona - the most by either team since the series began in 1998. The Diamondbacks have fallen short in four other attempts to win six in a row over the Astros, the last coming April 29, 2008.
If Oswalt can repeat his recent efforts, he might have a shot to end that streak. The right-hander has given up no more than three runs in each of his five starts this season.
He allowed three over seven innings Thursday against Cincinnati but was denied a third win in as many starts with a 4-2 defeat.
Kennedy allowed five runs over eight innings Thursday, but prevailed in a 13-5 victory in Chicago. His previous win was on Sept. 1, 2007, with the New York Yankees.
Kennedy was 0-4 in 2008 and made one relief appearance last season with the Yankees, who traded him to Arizona in December.