Both teams hope to get their offenses untracked against starters with high ERAs on Saturday night when they continue a four-game series at Petco Park.
San Diego (47-33) has outscored Houston 18-11 to win three of five matchups, and the teams have been evenly matched since the Padres took the first meeting 7-0 on May 7. The Padres are hitting .225 in the season series while the Astros (32-49) have fared worse, batting .176.
Things could change Saturday when Padres starter Kevin Correia(notes) (5-6, 5.49 ERA) squares off against Houston’s Bud Norris(notes) (2-5, 6.84). This is the first matchup between the former Cal Poly stars. The 29-year-old Correia pitched for the Mustangs from 2000-02, while the 25-year-old Norris played at Cal Poly from 2004-06.
Correia hopes to put a rough June behind him. He’s 0-2 with a 7.83 ERA in five outings since his last win May 31.
The right-hander gave up six runs over five innings Monday and was charged with a 10-6 loss to Colorado. Correia walked six, bringing his total to 11 in his last two outings.
“I need to stop walking guys, period,” Correia told the Padres’ official website. “There’s no shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’ anymore. It’s got to happen now.”
Norris will make his second start since being activated off the disabled list for Monday’s game at Milwaukee. He gave up five runs over five innings, and did not get a decision in a 9-5 victory in his first action since missing a month due to biceps tendinitis.
The right-hander said he felt “great” physically, although he’s 0-1 with an 8.79 ERA in his last three outings.
Norris also fared poorly May 7 in his lone career start against the Padres, allowing five runs over four innings.
Correia and Norris will probably have a tough time duplicating the efforts of Friday’s starters. Mat Latos(notes) allowed four hits over eight innings to earn his ninth victory while Roy Oswalt(notes) pitched seven scoreless frames as Houston fell 3-0.
San Diego broke through against the Houston bullpen in the eighth on David Eckstein’s(notes) go-ahead RBI double and Scott Hairston’s(notes) two-run single. Heath Bell(notes) closed out the win for Latos with a perfect ninth for his 22nd save.
Both teams have power-hitting first basemen who have struggled in the season series.
Padres leading hitter Adrian Gonzalez(notes), 0 for 11 in his last three games overall, has a single in 16 at-bats against Houston this year. Astros slugger Lance Berkman(notes) is 2 for 19 against San Diego.
Houston has reached the midpoint of its schedule with its worst record since the 2000 club started 28-53.