The Houston Astros are hoping their luck at home has finally turned around.
Houston (5-6) opened the season with a 1-5 homestand before bouncing back with three wins on a four-game road trip. The Astros returned home on Monday and beat the Marlins 4-3 on Morgan Ensberg’s walk-off single with the bases loaded.
Houston scored more than two runs for just the third time in seven home games this season. After this contest, the Astros embark on a nine-day, four-city trip before returning to Minute Maid to face Milwaukee on April 27.
Oswalt (2-0, 3.32 ERA) is taking the mound on three days’ rest to give fifth starter Chris Sampson an extra day to recover from a tight calf muscle. Oswalt is 3-2 with a 4.12 ERA in six career starts on less than full rest.
In his start on Friday, the right-hander recorded his 100th career win - 9-6 over Philadelphia - despite enduring a rocky outing. He gave up six runs in six five innings, walked a career-high six batters and was nearly ejected arguing a balk call that allowed a run to score.
“It was probably the worst game I’ve thrown in the big leagues,” said Oswalt, whose 100 wins since entering the majors in 2001 lead all NL pitchers over that span.
Oswalt has pitched well against the Marlins in his career, going 3-2 with a 1.98 ERA in seven starts against them.
“After fouling off three of them, I was very excited,” Ensberg said. “You absolutely want to be in that situation - the ninth inning with a chance to win the game. It’s what you play for.”
While Houston has recovered from a shaky start to the season, the Marlins (6-6) have dropped four of five after a three-game winning streak. Borchard had two hits and drove in a run for Florida, which is wrapping up a scheduled five-game road trip that was shortened to four after their game in Atlanta was rained out Saturday.
Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera went 0-for-4, failing to hit safely in a game for the first time this season and lowering his average from .410 to .372.
Cabrera is 2-for-9 (.222) with one double and two strikeouts lifetime against Oswalt.
Sergio Mitre (0-2, 4.09 ERA) takes the ball looking to help Florida salvage a series split. He gave up four runs and 10 hits in six innings of Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to Milwaukee.
“I didn’t do good, but I didn’t do bad either,” said Mitre, who is 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two career starts versus the Astros. “I struggled and gave up 10 hits. I was battling out there just trying to keep us in the ball game.”
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