Results tagged ‘ Padres ’

Astros try to snap road skid against Padres

The Astros will carry their 13-game road losing streak into San Diego for a four-game series beginning tonight at PETCO Park. Houston will send J.A. Happ to the mound in an attempt to avoid tying the franchise-long losing streak of 14 games, set in 1968-69 and equaled in 1996-97.

The Astros are 1-13 since June 28, which is the worst record in baseball in that span. The Padres are 9-5 since that date, which is tied for the sixth-best record in baseball.

Here are the pitching match-ups:

MondayLHP J.A. Happ (6-9, 5.14) vs. RHP Kip Wells (1-2, 2.50)
Tuesday RHP Jordan Lyles (2-5, 5.08) vs. RHP Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 7.41)
Wednesday LHP Wandy Rodriguez (7-7, 3.51) vs. LHP Clayton Richard (6-10, 3.83)
ThursdayRHP Lucas Harrell (7-6, 4.43) vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (5-7, 3.69)

Here are some pre-series tidbits:

  • The Astros have posted a 5.52 ERA on the road, which is the highest by any NL team since the 2009 Pirates. The Padres average 2.98 runs per game at home, which is the lowest in the NL this season.
  • The Astros have a .205 road winning percentage (9-35), lowest by any MLB team since the 1945 Philadelphia A’s had a .171 mark (13-63).
  • Over the last four weeks, the Astros’ offense has been a feast-or-famine proposition. Since June 19, the Astros have scored 27 runs in their five wins (5.4 runs per game) and 35 runs in their 17 losses (2.1 runs per game).
  • After a rough stretch in the first week of July, the Houston bullpen has righted the ship. Astros relievers posted a 8.38 ERA from July 2-4 and a 3.10 ERA since.
  • The Padres’ offense has improved with each month of the 2012 season. They averaged 3.13 runs per game in April, 3.29 in May, 3.85 in June and 4.45 so far in July.
  • IF Scott Moore has accounted for three of Houston’s five homers this month. He has three homers in 36 at-bats in July, while the rest of the team has two homers in 328 at-bats (J.D. Martinez and Chris Snyder have each hit one homer).
  • Astros CF Jordan Schafer is hitting .213 with the bases empty, .276 with runners on base and .300 with runners in scoring position.
  • Only two third basemen with at least 300 plate appearances have higher on-base percentages than Chase Headley’s .368. They are David Wright (.438) and Miguel Cabrera (.386).
  • San Diego’s offensive attack has looked far better in the games Carlos Quentin has played than in the games Quentin has sat out. The Padres are averaging 4.2 runs per game and have a .248 batting average with Quentin and 3.11 runs per game and a .225 average without. The Padres are 15-21 (.417) when Quentin has played, compared to 21-33 (.389) when he has not.
  • Dating to his days in Philadelphia, Astros pitcher J.A. Happ has always been extremely tough when the opposing team has had runners in scoring position. Among active pitchers, Happ has the sixth-lowest career batting average against with runners in scoring position (.218). The only pitchers with a minimum of 500 batters faced with RISP who are better are Johan Santana (.216), Matt Cain (.210), Ian Kennedy (.206), Yovani Gallardo (.204) and Clayton Kershaw (.198).
  • In his three starts this season, Padres starter Kip Wells has also shown an ability to pitch through tight spots. Opponents are hitting .389 against him with the bases empty and .176 with runners on base.

Astros lineup Wednesday vs. Padres

The Astros, who have won three of their last four games, battle the Padres in the third game of a four-game series Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park. Here is the Astros’ starting lineup:

ASTROS

RF Brian Bixler

SS Jed Lowrie

1B Carlos Lee

LF J.D. Martinez

3B Chris Johnson

C Chris Snyder

2B Matt Downs

CF Jordan Schafer

P Lucas Harrell

Astros battle Padres at Minute Maid

The Astros try to make it three wins in a row when they open up a four-game series tonight against the Padres at Minute Maid Park. Here are the lineups:

ASTROS

2B Brian Bixler

SS Jed Lowrie

1B Carlos Lee

RF Brian Bogusevic

3B Chris Johnson

C Jason Castro

LF J.D. Martinez

CF Jordan Schafer

P Wandy Rodriguez

PADRES

RF Chris Denorfia

CF Cameron Maybin

3B Chase Headley

LF Carlos Quentin

1B Jesus Guzman

2B Logan Forsythe

SS Everth Cabrera

C Nick Hundley

P Ross Ohlendorf

Here are some pre-series notes:

  • The Astros dropped five of their first eight contests at Minute Maid Park this season, but have since posted one of the NL’s best home records. The Astros are 18-12 at home since April 22, which is the second-best record in that span behind the Pirates (20-11).
  • Pitching has been the main reason for Houston’s success at home, as the Astros have posted one of the major league’s largest improvements in ERA from a season ago. The Astros have a 3.44 ERA at home this year, compared to 4.60 last year.

 

 

Astros-Padres lineup for Saturday

Here are the lineups for Saturday’s game between the Astros and Padres:

ASTROS

CF Michael Bourn

SS Clint Barmes

RF Hunter Pence

LF Carlos Lee

3B Chris Johnson

1B Brett Wallace

2B Angel Sanchez

C J.R. Towles

P Aneury Rodriguez

PADRES

CF Chris Denorfia

RF Eric Patterson

3B Chase Headley

LF Ryan Ludwick

1B Brad Hawpe

2B Logan Forsythe

SS Alberto Gonzalez

C Rob Johnson

P Aaron Harang

Astros-Padres lineups for Friday

Here are Friday’s Astros-Padres lineups:

ASTROS

CF Michael Bourn

SS Clint Barmes

RF Hunter Pence

LF Carlos Lee

2B Jeff Keppinger

1B Brett Wallace

3B Chris Johnson

C J.R. Towles

LHP J.A. Happ

PADRES

CF Chris Denorfia

SS Jason Bartlett

3B Chase Headley

LF Ryan Ludwick

1B Jorge Cantu

RF Aaron Cunningham

2B Logan Forsythe

C Rob Johnson

RHP Dustin Moseley

 

 

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Astros-Padres preview

The Astros, coming off of a three-game sweep against the Cubs where they averaged 7.3 runs and had at least 10 hits in each game, will try to keep things going against the Padres tonight in San Diego. Bud Norris (2-4, 3.76 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros against Padres right-hander Tim Stauffer (1-3, 3.60).

Norris is fifth in the Majors at 9.81 strikeouts per nine innings, but is looking for his first road win of the season (0-3). Stauffer, who got his first win of the season in his 11th start on Saturday, became the fifth Padres pitcher to take 11 starts to get his first win of the season.

The Astros have been generating a lot of hits in their last six road games. In fact, the Cardinals are the only team this season to have at least 10 hits in seven consecutive road games, a mark the Astros can equal tonight.

When it comes to pitching, the Astros have done well against the Padres. Since the start of the 2010 season, Houston has a 2.72 ERA in 99 1/3 innings against San Diego – that’s the third-best ERA against the Padres in that span.

Want more reason to be optimistic about the Astros’ chances? The Padres are 9-20 at home this year, including 4-15 in night home games. They are hitting a Major League-worst .199 at Petco Park.

Here is the Astros’ lineup:

CF Michael Bourn – Has driven in the winning run in each of the last two games and has nine RBIs in his past nine games.

SS Clint Barmes – His .307 batting average against the Padres in his best against any opponent in his career.

RF Hunter Pence – Hitting .436 during his current 13-game hitting streak.

LF Carlos Lee – Hitting .344 with three doubles and four RBIs in his past eight games.

2B Jeff Keppinger – Has reached base in 10 of his 23 plate appearances this season.

1B Brett Wallace – Ranks fourth in the Majors in hitting in the seventh inning or later with a .397 average.

3B Chris Johnson – Has hit safely in five of his last six games.

C J.R. Towles – This is his 24th start, which is his most since a career-high 47 starts in 2008.

RHP Bud Norris – He’s 0-3 with a 6.55 ERA in four road starts.

Astros lineup Sunday vs. Padres

Here is the Astros lineup for Sunday’s homestand finale against the Padres. The Astros can win three of four from the Padres with a win today.

CF Jason Bourgeois

SS Angel Sanchez

RF Hunter Pence

1B Carlos Lee

LF Jason Michaels

3B Chris Johnson

2B Bill Hall

C Humberto Quintero

RHP Brett Myers

A night of heroes at Minute Maid Park

The Astros’ 5-3 win over the Padres was truly a team win in every sense. Nelson Figueroa had a good start, the bullpen came through nicely and Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence had terrific diving catches.

Then was the bottom of the seventh, when the Astros rallied for a pair runs and got a pinch-hit RBI single by Joe Inglett, with Matt Downs going hard into second base earlier in the inning to break up a potential double play.

“You need things like that,” manager Brad Mills said. “You have great plays and timely hitting and guys hustling on the bases and beating plays and diving in the outfield. Things of that nature are huge. This team is capable of doing that, and they really did a good job tonight.”

The Astros can win their first series of the season and even their 10-game homestand at 5-5 if they can win Sunday’s finale.

Here are some postgame notes from Saturday’s game:

  • Saturday was the Astros’ first win this season while hitting a home run. They had come into the game 0-5 in games in which they had at least one home run.
  • RHP Nelson Figueroa did not factor into the decision after pitching 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks. He tossed a season-high 111 pitches, the fourth-highest pitch count for an Astros starter this season.
  • RHP Mark Melancon tossed one-third of a scoreless inning, stranding two inherited runners en route to the win. He has now tossed eight innings over nine appearances this season without allowing an earned run. By stranding two runners, Melancon has stranded all seven of his inherited runners this season and since being acquired by the Astros, Melancon has inherited 14 runners without allowing any of them to score.
  • CF Michael Bourn has now reached base safely in 12 straight games and in 13 of his 14 games this season. Since last season, Bourn has reached base safely in 51 of his last 53 games.
  • Bourn collected his seventh steal of the season and has now stolen 15 consecutive bases without being caught (dating back to Sept. 4, 2010).
  • 3B Chris Johnson connected for his first home run of the season tonight, a two-run shot in the fourth inning. The homer snapped an 0-for-10 streak and an 81-at-bat homerless streak. Johnson went 22 games between home runs.
  • RF Hunter Pence collected his ninth RBI of the season at Minute Maid Park and his 11th overall in 2011. Entering the game, Pence ranked tied for sixth in the Majors in RBIs at home
  • LF Carlos Lee went 1-for-4 and has now hit safely in his last four games and in seven of his last eight.

First plate appearance eventful for Melancon

Astros pitcher Mark Melancon made his first career plate appearance in the seventh inning Thursday night, and it was one to remember. Melancon scrambled for a batting helmet and bat and wound up drawing a walk in an eight-pitch at-bat against Padres starter Dustin Moseley, even though he thought he had struck out looking earlier in the at-bat and began heading to the dugout.

“I have to give so much respect to Dustin Moseley because I played with him last year and he’s one of the classiest guys I’ve ever played with,” Melancon said. “To be able to have my first at-bat against him, I’m pretty thankful for that. It’s pretty neat to face a guy that you have so much respect for. He pitched a heck of a game. He was average eight or nine pitches an inning. It was pretty neat to face him and then Nick Hundley was my catcher in college, so it was a pretty cool at-bat for me.”

Melancon borrowed a helmet from Jason Bourgeois and a bat from Brett Wallace.

“Wallace gave me his bat and said, ‘That’s the lightest one I’ve got,’” Melancon said. “I looked at him and said,’ I can use a heavy one.’”

When asked about the pitch he thought was a strike, Melancon had some fun.

“It was a close pitch,” he said. “I just assumed the umpire was going to ring me up because I’m a pitcher and never had an at-bat before, and I figured he was ringing me up and I was kind of alright with that, I guess. I think Hundley was assuming the same thing and I know he was wanting the same thing. When he called ball I was pretty excited to be back in the box, for sure.”

When the inning was over, Melancon had to focus on the job he gets paid to do and wound up pitching out of a mess in the eighth.

“I threw eight warm-up pitches and every one of my warm-up pitches I had no idea where the ball was going, and about the third one I said ‘OK, I understand I just had my at-bat, but this is a big part of the game and I have to bear down and focus on pitching, because that’s what I’m here to do,’” he said. “It took me five more pitches to do that, and fortunately when the guy got back in the box I was ready to go and calmed down from the AB and being on base, which was like being on Mars for me.”

Here are postgame notes:

  • Thursday marked the Astros first shutout of the season and first since blanking the Cubs 4-0 on the last game of the season last year. It also marked the club’s first 1-0 shutout since beating the D-Backs by that count on Aug. 21, 2009. The team’s previous 1-0 shutout,in which itallowed three hits or less came on June 7, 2006, vs. Chicago.
  • The last time the Astros shutout the Padres was on May 8, 2009, and the last time they did so while allowing three hits or less, was on Sept. 17, 1993. The last time the Astros beat the Padres by a count of 1-0, while allowing three hits or less, was on May 24, 1991.
  • CF Michael Bourn’s stolen base in the sixth inning marked the Astros 500th stolen base at Minute Maid Park. Bourn now has 81 career stolen bases at Minute Maid Park, all coming as an Astro, and is the all-time leader in that category at MMP. Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman are tied for second on that list with 39 apiece.
  • RHP Bud Norris tossed six scoreless innings, allowing two hits and three walks, while fanning seven. He has now tossed 13 consecutive scoreless innings againt the Padres, dating back to his seven-inning performance on July 3, 2010 at San Diego.
  • RHP Mark Melancon tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings tonight and has not been scored upon in 7 2/3 innings of relief this season. That marks the club’s longest scoreless innings streak in 2011. He leads all Astros relievers in games and innings pitched.
  • 1B Brett Wallace extended his career-long hitting streak to seven games by doubling in the second inning Thursday. During the run, Wallace is hitting .375 with two doubles, one home run and 4 RBIs.
  • 3B Matt Downs has run his career-long hitting streak to five  games, hitting at .538 (7-for-13) in that span. His previous long streak was three games, most recently accomplished from June 13-Sept 7, 2010.
  •  C Humberto Quintero went 2-for-3 Thursday and has now gone 5-for-6 with a walk in his last seven plate appearances. Along with catcher J.R. Towles, Astros catchers have combined to hit .348 (16-for-46) with three doubles, one home run and three RBIs.

Astros’ lineup for Thursday’s game vs. Padres

The Astros open a four-game series on Thursday night against the San Diego Padres at Minute Maid Park. Bud Norris starts for the Astros, who are trying to win their first series of the season. Chris Johnson remains out of the lineup after being hit by a pitch on Monday, and Matt Downs, who hit a two-run homer on Wednesday, gets his second consecutive start at third base.

Here is the Astros’ lineup:

CF Michael Bourn

SS Angel Sanchez

RF Hunter Pence

LF Carlos Lee

1B Brett Wallace

2B Bill Hall

3B Matt Downs

C Humberto Quintero

RHP Bud Norris

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