Berkman dropped to fifth in order

The Astros will try to break a six-game road losing streak by sending ace Roy Oswalt (2-6, 2.66 ERA) to the mound tonight against the Brewers, who start left-hander Chris Narveson (4-1, 5.17 ERA). Lance Berkman is hitting fifth in the order for the first time since June 27, 2009. He’s hit third 19 times and fourth 12 times this year.

It’s Oswalt’s first start since it became public he wants the Astros try to trade him, but the 32-year-old right-hander said Tuesday it will be business as usual.

Oswalt has produced a quality start in each of his previous nine outings this season, the
most to start a season since Roger Clemens began the 2005 season with nine consecutive. The last Astros pitcher to produce 10 consecutive quality starts to begin a season was Bob Knepper in 1988, and the franchise record is 11 in a row to start the year.

The Astros are hitting .218 on the road this year.

Here are the lineups:

ASTROS

CF Michael Bourn — Went 0-for-4 on Tuesday to snap eight-game hitting streak

2B Jeff Keppinger — This will be his 28th start at 2B, which sets a career high

RF Hunter Pence — Hitting .317 with 5 HRs, 13 RBIs, last 15 games

LF Carlos Lee — Hitting .159 in last 12 games

1B Lance Berkman — Needs two walks to be 17th switch-hitter to reach 1,000 in career

3B Pedro Feliz — His .171 batting average in May is a career low for the month

C Humberto Quintero — Has hit safely in 12 of last 14 games with a plate appearance

SS Tommy Manzella — Has reached base safely with hit or walk in 10 of last 11 games

P Roy Oswalt — His 15-20 record in May is the only month in which he has losing record

BREWERS

2B Rickie Weeks

CF Carlos Gomez

LF Ryan Braun

1B Prince Fielder

3B Casey McGehee

RF Corey Hart

C George Kottaras

SS Alcides Escobar

P Chris Narveson

2 Comments

When will we finally have an opportunity to have Navarro and Johnson in the starting lineup, and see Bourgeois in a MLB uniform? Such changes could only improve the product on the field and make watching the Astros of greater interest.

I’m sure we all feel like we have “the answer” but I’m equally sure that Johnson should be getting his chance as a starter at 3rd base and that we need to try an overall different approach at the plate. Obviously it is not all Sean Berry’s fault, but I think just having a new hitting coach would be a large step in the right direction. It might at least give our hitters SOME kind of direction. There’s only one way to go in almost every hitting category and that’s up. There is way too much talent in our lineup to settle for that. Give the fans a reason to come to the park again. Please …..

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