Oswalt seeks his first win over Texas in nearly six years Sunday when the NL-best Phillies go for a three-game interleague sweep in Philadelphia.
Oswalt (3-1, 3.09 ERA) is 0-5 with a 5.87 ERA in six starts against the Rangers since posting a win over them on June 24, 2005. All those outings came while with Houston, and the worst showing in that stretch came last year.
The right-hander was tagged for eight runs with four walks in 4 2-3 innings of the Astros’ 10-1 road loss on June 27. One of the seven hits Oswalt allowed was a 468-foot homer by Josh Hamilton(notes), currently on an injury rehab assignment.
Just over a month later, the Phillies (28-17) acquired Oswalt in a blockbuster deal.
Oswalt, 4-6 with a 4.54 ERA in 12 games against the Rangers, made his first appearance since April 26 on Tuesday, and showed no ill effects from a sore back that landed him on the disabled list. He gave up a run and seven hits over five innings at St. Louis, but Philadelphia lost 2-1 on a walkoff single by Lance Berkman(notes) - Oswalt’s longtime Astros teammate.
“Roy’s got good stuff, I was impressed,” said Berkman. “He told me (last Sunday) he wasn’t feeling great and if that’s what he looks like when he’s not feeling great, I don’t want to face him when he is.”
Oswalt will try to follow wins by Roy Halladay(notes) and Cliff Lee(notes), who shut down his former team Saturday in a 2-0 victory. Lee gave up five hits and fanned 10 over eight innings for his first win since April 14.
“It’s a little different when you pitch against a team you just played with,” Lee said. “It wasn’t off-the-charts different.”
Young, who is among the major league leaders with 60 hits, is hitting .308 (12 for 39) with a homer against Oswalt while Kinsler is batting .467 (7 for 15) with one home run.
That day, the left-hander went a season-high eight innings to beat the New York Yankees, but has gone 0-4 with a 7.03 ERA in his next five starts.
Harrison avoided a fifth straight loss Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox, allowing three runs, three hits and four walks in seven innings. However, Cody Eppley(notes) gave up a run in the eighth, sending the Rangers (23-23) to a 4-3 loss.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” Harrison said. “I felt good the whole game. The fact of the matter is I walked too many people tonight.”
Harrison is 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA in two starts in interleague play.