The Houston Astros just won their first game since trading Hunter Pence(notes) and Michael Bourn(notes). It’s uncertain how many more times they’ll get a chance to help Wandy Rodriguez(notes) record a victory.
Rodriguez tries to win his fourth straight decision at home against the Cincinnati Reds as this NL Central matchup continues Tuesday night.
With Pence getting traded to Philadelphia on Friday and Bourn being dealt to Atlanta prior to Sunday’s 5-4 loss at Milwaukee, the major league-worst Astros (36-73) have an eye on the future, calling up J.D. Martinez(notes), Luis Durango(notes), Jimmy Paredes(notes) and Brian Bogusevic(notes) from the minors since Saturday.
That youth prevailed in Monday’s series opener as Houston won 4-3 in 10 innings. Paredes knocked in two with a triple in his first major league at-bat, Martinez singled and scored, Bogusevic singled and was intentionally walked in the 10th, and rookie Jose Altuve’s(notes) grounder up the middle with the bases loaded plated Humberto Quintero(notes) with the winning run.
Trying to win four straight at home for the first time since a 5-0 run Aug. 19-Sept. 9, the Astros will give the ball to Rodriguez (7-7, 3.47 ERA) on Tuesday. The team was reportedly shopping the veteran left-hander to numerous teams prior to Sunday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
Rodriguez, though, could still be dealt by Houston if he clears waivers. The Astros could also surrender their rights to the left-hander if a team places a claim on him.
Rodriguez had a rough start to July, going 0-2 with a 7.41 ERA in his first three starts, but he is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in his last two outings after giving up three runs - one earned - over seven innings of Thursday’s 5-3 win at St. Louis.
“The last few starts, he’s been right on,” Mills said.
Rodriguez is 3-0 with a 2.18 ERA in last five home starts against the Reds (53-56), but he’s fared poorly when facing reigning NL MVP Joey Votto(notes), who is 12 for 34 with two doubles and two triples off the left-hander.
Votto, named the league’s player of the week Monday, is batting .414 (12 for 29) with four homers and 10 RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak. He has an extra-base hit in 11 consecutive games at Minute Maid Park, tying Jeff Bagwell (Candlestick Park, 1993-’95) for the longest such streak in an opposing park since 1946.
Making his sixth start after missing one month with a right shoulder sprain, the right-hander yielded a career high-tying nine runs and 12 hits in Thursday’s 10-9 loss to the New York Mets.
“When they’re pretty much running around the bases the whole … time, you know something’s not right,” he told the Reds’ official website.
Bailey, though, is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts against the Astros this season. He went seven scoreless innings in a 7-3 victory at Houston on May 10.
The Astros will try to win three straight over the Reds for first time since sweeping a four-game set in Cincinnati from Aug. 7-10, 2008.