Andy Pettitte tries to pitch the New York Yankees to a fifth straight win on Monday when they open a three-game series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium.
Pettitte, who pitched three seasons for the Astros, was denied his first-ever 4-0 start on Wednesday, as the Yankees offense failed him in a 3-0 loss. Pettitte, though, gave up all three runs (2 earned) and seven hits and struck out 10 in six innings, dropping him to 3-1 to go along with a 2.22 ERA.
"I had two strikeouts and a chance to get out of it, and I didn't do it," said Pettitte referring to his two-run fifth inning. "That was obviously really the game right there."
Pettitte beat the Astros the only other time he faced them.
New York enters this tilt following a four-game weekend sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays. On Sunday, Lyle Overbay belted a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning to lift the Yankees to a 3-2 win. Brennan Boesch also homered for New York, which came from behind to win each game of the series.
"We had four hits and two went for homers," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
The rally made a winner of Boone Logan (1-1), who worked a scoreless seventh in relief of Phil Hughes. The Yankee starter went the first six innings and surrendered just two runs on seven hits with a walk and nine strikeouts.
Houston, on the other hand, was swept over the weekend, losing all four games in its series with the Boston Red Sox, culminating with a 6-1 loss in Sunday's finale.
The Astros have now lost nine straight on the road.
Bud Norris (3-3) recorded the loss for Houston on Sunday after surrendering five runs -- three earned -- on nine hits in six innings of work. Ronny Cedeno finished 2-for-4 for the Astros, who have lost seven of nine overall and are an AL-worst 7-18.
"I know we're struggling right now, but we have to make some adjustments," Houston outfielder Fernando Martinez admitted. "We'll be fine."
Hoping to reverse their fortunes on Monday, the Astros will hand the ball to righty Lucas Harrell, who has won his last two starts. After beating Cleveland on April 19, Harrell was even better on Wednesday against Seattle, as he held the Mariners to a run and six hits in seven innings to even his record at 2-2, while lowering his ERA to 4.08.
"I'd gotten away from being aggressive; I need to attack more," said Harrell, who allowed the lone run against him on a double play. "Strike one was huge today. My goal was to attack and get strike one."
Houston has beaten the Yankees just one time in nine meetings, including a 1-5 mark in the Bronx. Houston's only win over the Yankees was a six-pitcher no- hitter at the old Yankee Stadium on June 11, 2003.