Washington (26-27) at Houston (18-34)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Houston, TX
Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Wed Jun 2, 2010
  • TV: MASN2, FSH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

It’s been three weeks since the Houston Astros won consecutive games. It’s been even longer since they’ve done it against the same opponent at Minute Maid Park.

A late rally in their last contest put the Astros in position to win two in a row in the same series at home for the first time in more than month when they continue a four-game set with the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

After closer Matt Lindstrom(notes) blew a one-run lead in the ninth inning, Lance Berkman’s(notes) two-run single off Matt Capps(notes) in the bottom of the inning helped Houston (18-34) rally to even the series with an 8-7 win over Washington on Tuesday.

“We just keep battling. Keep battling and good things will happen,” said Astros manager Brad Mills(notes), whose team won for just the fifth time in 18 games.

The Astros haven’t won back-to-back contests since winning four straight from May 9-13. While they won two in a row at home once in May, the Astros haven’t won consecutive games against the same opponent at Minute Maid since sweeping Pittsburgh from May 23-25.

Berkman had three hits and five RBIs after going 0 for 4 in Monday’s 14-4 loss to the Nationals (26-27). He’s a lifetime .346 hitter against the Nationals franchise and 5 for 9 versus scheduled starter John Lannan(notes).

After Craig Stammen(notes) allowed five runs in five innings Tuesday, the Nationals hope Lannan (2-2, 5.01 ERA) can deliver a fourth straight strong start in this contest.

The left-hander, who’s 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his last three outings, allowed two runs in seven innings of a 5-3 win at San Diego on Friday.

“You are just building off your start. That’s the key,” Lannan told the Nationals’ official website. “I’m progressing and getting to where I want to be. It’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

Lannan is 3-1 with a 4.91 ERA against the Astros.

Ian Desmond(notes) and Roger Bernadina(notes) each had RBI singles to give Washington a 7-6 lead in the ninth Tuesday, but the Nationals couldn’t hold on and fell to 3-5 on a 10-game trip.

After homering three times in his last two games, Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman(notes) walked four times Tuesday. He’s 5 for 11 with seven runs scored in his last four games, and 23 for 49 with 18 RBIs in his last 12 against the Astros.

Zimmerman is 3 for 9 with a triple and a home run against Wednesday’s scheduled starter Wandy Rodriguez(notes) (2-7, 5.37), who’ll try to avoid a fourth straight loss.

The left-hander, who allowed only four earned runs over 12 2-3 innings of his previous two starts, looks to bounce back after giving up eight in 3 1-3 innings of a 15-6 loss at Cincinnati on Friday.

“I don’t have my curve right now (at) 100 percent,” Rodriguez told the Astros’ official website. “I don’t know what happened with my breaking (ball). I think I need to work more. Work more on my location.”

Rodriguez is 3-1 with a 5.55 ERA in six starts against Washington.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Lannan Col vs. W. Rodríguez Tex
8-8 Record 11-12
4.65 ERA 3.60
71 K 178
49 BB 68
1.56 WHIP 1.29


Wednesday, Jun 2