Houston (32-50) at San Diego (48-33)

Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sun Jul 4, 2010
  • TV: FSH, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The San Diego Padres lead the majors with 12 shutouts. Three have come at the expense of the Houston Astros.

After posting back-to-back shutouts, the Padres look to capture a four-game series at Petco Park from the Astros on Sunday in a series in which both teams’ starters have excelled the previous two nights.

San Diego (48-33) has outscored Houston 7-6 in this series, but the Astros (32-50) haven’t scored since their 6-3, 10-inning win in Thursday’s opener. Mat Latos(notes) gave up four hits in eight innings in Friday’s 3-0 victory for the Padres, and Kevin Correia(notes) and two relievers combined on a six-hitter in a 1-0 win Saturday.

“As long as the pitching staff, which they pretty much do every single time, keep the game within reach, there’s no panic,” San Diego center fielder Tony Gwynn(notes) Jr. said. “We know eventually if it comes down to some execution, we like our chances.”

Houston’s starters have also not allowed a run over the previous two games. Roy Oswalt(notes) gave up three hits over seven innings Friday and Bud Norris(notes) did the same Saturday for the Astros.

“I think we’ve had some great pitching out of our starters the last four games,” manager Brad Mills(notes) said.

The Astros reliever who has started the eighth inning has been the culprit in both losses. Brandon Lyon(notes) was charged with all three runs Friday and Gustavo Chacin’s(notes) throwing error led to San Diego’s unearned run Saturday.

The series finale pits San Diego’s Wade LeBlanc(notes) (4-6, 3.25 ERA) against Houston’s Brett Myers(notes) (5-6, 3.61).

The Padres hope to give LeBlanc some better support at home. LeBlanc fell to 2-4 with a 2.48 ERA in nine starts at Petco this season after allowing two runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 6-3 loss to Colorado on Tuesday.

The left-hander matched a career high with eight strikeouts in that outing, but San Diego failed to score for him. The Padres have supported him with a total of 14 runs at home.

LeBlanc has never faced the Astros.

Myers (5-6, 3.61), meanwhile, fell to 0-4 with a 5.61 ERA in his last five outings on the road after he gave up a season-high seven runs over six innings Tuesday in a 7-5 loss at Milwaukee.

The veteran right-hander gave up a career-high four homers after yielding seven in his first 15 outings this season.

“The way he’s pitched all year, that was something that we’ve come not to expect,” Mills said. “It was a little bit surprising.”

Myers is 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA in four career outings against the Padres.

Padres slugger Adrian Gonzalez(notes) was a late scratch Saturday due to a stiff neck. Gonzalez, 0 for 11 in his last three games, has a single in 16 at-bats against Houston this year.

Oscar Salazar(notes) started in Gonzalez’s place and batted seventh while Chase Headley(notes) moved up two spots to the No. 3 hole.

Astros slugger Lance Berkman(notes) is 0 for 11 in this series, and 2 for 22 against San Diego this season.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Myers Cle vs. W. LeBlanc LAA
14-8 Record 8-12
3.14 ERA 4.25
180 K 110
66 BB 51
1.24 WHIP 1.42


Sunday, Jul 4