Sports

'Stros go for sweep of Padres, sixth straight win

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Astros are rolling and look to keep it that way when they go for a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres Wednesday afternoon at Petco Park.

The AL West-leading Astros won their fifth straight game and ninth in 10 tries with Tuesday's 14-3 pounding of the Padres, as George Springer, Evan Gattis and Chris Carter all homered and combined for nine runs batted in. Springer had five RBI, Jose Altuve finished 4-for-6 with two doubles and two runs scored, and Luis Valbuena added three hits and four runs scored.

"We put up really good at-bats," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "It was an offensive outburst for us."

Houston had a 17-6 advantage in hits to record its fourth consecutive series win. It is 7-1 on a nine-game road trip and 9-2 as the visitor this season. The 1986 squad opened the season 9-2 on the road.

Roberto Hernandez picked up his first win in an Astros uniform and lasted six innings, giving up three runs and six hits with six strikeouts and one walk.

The Astros, who are scheduled to start a seven-game homestand Thursday, will send Dallas Keuchel to the mound in the finale with the Padres and he is aiming to stay unbeaten. Keuchel is 2-0 with a 0.62 earned run average in four appearances and went the distance in a 5-4 win at Oakland last Friday.

Keuchel did not figure into the decision against the Athletics, allowing only two hits with four K's and two walks. The left-hander has given up just two runs this season in 29 innings of work and will make his second career start against San Diego.

Houston has won each of Keuchel's last nine starts, one win shy of the franchise record shared by pitching greats Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan, Joe Niekro and Donne Wall.

San Diego has dropped six of seven games and fell to 1-4 on its nine-game, 10- day stay at Petco Park.

Padres starter Tyson Ross had a rough night on Tuesday and gave up four runs in five innings with nine K's and two walks. Odrisamer Despaigne and Cory Mazzoni yielded four runs apiece in relief.

We didn't pitch well at all," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "A tough night for a lot of our pitchers."

Wil Myers and Justin Upton both went deep for San Diego.

The Padres have allowed 35 runs over the previous four games and will host the Colorado Rockies this weekend.

Andrew Cashner gets the call for the Friars Wednesday and is 1-3 with a 2.63 earned run average through four starts. He pitched well the last time out in a 3-0 loss to Los Angeles, but the run support wasn't there.

Cashner allowed two runs in seven innings, struck out six and walked a batter. He has given up just two earned runs in the last three appearances. The right- hander, who has lost both starts at Petco Park, is 2-1 with a 4.60 ERA in nine games (1 start) lifetime against Houston.

The Padres and Astros are playing for the first time since the 2012 campaign. San Diego had won three straight and eight of the last 11 matchups between the clubs until Monday's loss in the series opener.