The Houston Astros will close out a successful nine-game homestand tonight against the Miami Marlins in the finale of a three-game set from Minute Maid Park.
The Astros are 6-2 so far on the residency and ended a brief two-game slide with Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Marlins thanks to pinch-hitter Brian Bogusevic's RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning. Marlins infielder Omar Infante had a miscue in the field during the sixth inning, allowing two runs to score for a 2-2 ballgame.
"I think pinch-hitting is one of those things where the more you do it, the more comfortable you get," Bogusevic said. "You kind of get a feel for things you want to and things you might want to stay away from in that situation."
Aneury Rodriguez made his first start of the season for the Astros and did not record a decision, as he held Miami to a pair of runs and two hits in six innings with six strikeouts and two walks. Rodriguez did allow home runs to Infante and John Buck. Brandon Lyon tossed a scoreless seventh, Wilton Lopez got the win with an unblemished eighth inning and Brett Myers closed the door in the ninth for his eighth save.
Houston will begin a five-game trek to Pennsylvania against the Pirates and Phillies after Wednesday's game.
Lucas Harrell will make his seventh start of the season for the Astros tonight and is looking to build on his latest performance. Harrell was 0-2 with a 6.23 earned run average in four starts before squeezing out a victory over St. Louis last Friday. In the 5-4 win versus the Cardinals, Harrell was reached for four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.
The right-hander evened his 2012 mark at 2-2, but raised his ERA slightly from 4.71 to 4.76. Harrell is 2-0 in two home starts this season, and faced the Marlins for the first time in his career during a 5-4 loss in south Florida on April 13 this season. He did not record a decision after permitting four runs and seven hits in four innings.
Miami was perfect (7-0) on its nine-game road trip until last night.
Ryan Webb was saddled with the loss for giving up Bogusevic's game-changing hit and starter Anibal Sanchez gave up only two unearned runs in seven innings for the no-decision. Sanchez struck out eight batters and walked two.
Infante's error in the sixth inning could have changed the outcome, but Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was understanding.
"Omar's one of the best second basemen in the league," Guillen said. "Guys make errors, that's part of the game and I have no problem with it."
Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts to have his 10-game hitting streak come to an end. The Marlins will head home for a five-game residency versus the Mets and Pirates after tonight.
Miami ace Josh Johnson had his season cut significantly short last year and could be suffering from an injury hangover since he's still winless in 2012. Johnson will take another shot at win No. 1 tonight against the Astros and is 0-3 with a 6.61 earned run average in six starts.
Johnson, who was shelved early on in 2011 because of a shoulder injury, lasted only 2 2/3 innings in last Friday's 9-8 win at San Diego and luckily avoided the loss column after yielding six runs and six hits. He has given up 11 runs through his last two starts, and is also aiming for his first road win as evidenced by his 0-1 mark in three tries as the guest.
In four career games (3 starts) against the Astros, the righty is winless (0-3) to go along with a 5.82 ERA.
Houston dropped two of three games in Miami from April 13-15, including two contests in 11 innings. The Marlins are 9-3 in the last 12 matchups between the teams.