With their lengthy road skid in the past, the Houston Astros have a good chance to build on their first victory away from home in a month.
J.A. Happ threw 6 1-3 strong innings and Scott Moore hit a pair of sacrifice flies to help Houston (34-56) snap a 13-game road losing streak with a 2-0 win over San Diego on Monday. The victory was the second in 15 games overall for the Astros, who last won on the road June 14 at San Francisco.
“Everybody has been talking about what’s been going on on the road and so forth, but we just needed to play good baseball,” manager Brad Mills said.
Houston, 10-35 away from home, has not won back-to-back road games since April 25-27.
The Astros didn’t make it easy on themselves Monday, recording five hits and stranding 13 runners. However, Happ and three relievers held a San Diego club that had totaled 14 runs and 20 hits while winning its previous two games to six hits.
Marwin Gonzalez had two hits and All-Star Jose Altuve scored both runs for the Astros, who are batting .233 while averaging 3.5 runs on the road in 2012. Playing in place of injured shortstop Jed Lowrie, Gonzalez is 4 for 8 since coming off the disabled list Sunday from a bruised heel.
“We get a guy that’s aggressive and we’re able to do something with him and Altuve up there,” Mills told the Astros’ official website.
Houston looks to hand San Diego (36-55) a fifth straight home defeat if can again get the best of Ohlendorf (2-0, 7.41 ERA), who is 0-6 with a 6.43 ERA in 10 starts against the Astros. A native of Austin, Texas, Ohlendorf made his last start June 25 at Houston when he allowed five runs, two homers and four walks over 3 2-3 innings of an 8-7, 10-inning win to raise his ERA to 8.64 in two starts this season.
That performance sent the right-hander back to the bullpen where he gave up four runs in 3 1-3 innings of his last two appearances overall.
Houston counters with Jordan Lyles (2-5, 5.08), who tries a 15th time for his first career road win. The right-hander allowed seven runs and nine hits over four innings of an 11-2 loss at Pittsburgh on July 2 to fall to 0-7 with a 6.15 ERA in 14 career starts away from home.
That performance, however, was the only time in his last four starts that Lyles gave up more than two runs. He rebounded July 8 by yielding two in seven innings of 5-3, 10-inning loss to Milwaukee.
Lyles allowed a solo homer to Will Venable and overcame a season-high four walks in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-3 win over the Padres on June 26. In his second career start, he gave up four runs in four innings of a 7-2 loss at San Diego on June 5, 2011.
Carlos Quentin is 2 for 3 against Lyles, but its uncertain if the Padres’ slugger will be in the lineup after he was scratched Monday with a knee injury. He’s 5 for 15 with two RBIs versus Houston this season.
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