Astros lineup Thursday vs. Rockies

The Astros begin the post-Kaz Matsui era tonight at Minute Maid Park in the finale of the two-game series against the Rockies. And it won’t be easy. The Rockies are throwing NL Cy Young contender Ubaldo Jimenez. The Astros will get Tampa Bay Rays, the team with the best record in the Majors, this weekend at Minute Maid Park, so the next four days will be challenging.

For Astros starter Roy Oswalt, it’s just another game against another ace. Oswalt has lost three consecutive decisions in his previous four starts despite pitching well. He held the Giants to six hits and two runs and struck out seven batters in eight innings Saturday in San Francisco but was outdueled by Tim Lincecum for the second time this year (he has also lost to Roy Halladay).

In Oswalt’s five losses this year, the Astros have scored four runs in the 33 innings he’s been on the mound. He’s dominated the Rockies in his career, going 7-1 with a 1.78 ERA in 10 starts. Oswalt faced the Rockies once last year and held them to six hits and one run and struck out eight batters in seven innings to get a win. He’s five wins away from tying Joe Niekro‘s club record of 144.

For some reason, the roof is open tonight despite temperatures around 90 degrees. Anyway, here’s the lineup for Astros manager Brad Mills:

CF Michael Bourn

2B Jeff Keppinger

1B Lance Berkman

LF Carlos Lee

RF Hunter Pence

3B Pedro Feliz

SS Tommy Manzella

C Humberto Quintero

RHP Roy Oswalt


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