(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Astros target their fourth series win in a row when they continue a three-game set against the San Diego Padres Tuesday at Petco Park.
The Astros took the opener with the Padres on Monday, claiming a 9-4 victory behind five runs over the eighth and ninth innings. Colby Rasmus and Chris Carter had RBI hits during a three-run eighth to break a 4-4 tie and Rasmus clubbed a two-run homer in the ninth for the final margin.
Jed Lowrie and Jason Castro also homered for the Astros, winners in four straight and eight of the last nine games. Pat Neshek picked up the win in relief and Collin McHugh pitched the first six innings, charged with three runs and seven hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
"I wouldn't have guessed a 9-4 game after the way the starting pitchers pitched the first third of the game," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
The Astros are 10-0 when scoring first and 11-0 when scoring at least four runs. In injury news, Lowrie left the game in the eighth inning with a thumb injury and is expected to undergo an MRI back in Houston.
"He's swinging the bat well and fits right in the middle of our order," Hinch said of Lowrie. "The way he conducts at-bats, we want to hope for the best, but we're not sure."
Roberto Hernandez seeks his first win with the Astros when he takes the mound Tuesday. He is 0-2 with a 3.57 earned run average in three starts and pitched well in defeat last Wednesday, charged with three runs in seven innings of a 3-2 loss at Seattle.
Hernandez allowed three runs in six innings of a 6-3 loss to the LA Angels on April 17 and did not record a decision. The right-hander, who is winless (0-2) in two road assignments this season, has made three career starts against the Padres and totes a 1-2 mark with a 4.50 ERA.
The Padres have lost five of six games and fell to 1-3 on a nine-game homestand. James Shields started for San Diego and did not record a decision, allowing three runs -- one earned -- in six innings. Shields fanned 12 batters and walked just one.
"His stuff was good. He pitched well," Padres manager Bud Black said of Shields. "He had a legit curveball."
Joaquin Benoit was dealt the loss for allowing three runs in the eighth.
Wil Myers and Yangervis Solarte drove in two runs apiece and combined for five hits for San Diego.
Taking the hill for the Friars Tuesday will be Tyson Ross, who has a 1-1 mark with a 3.97 earned run average through four starts. Ross was saddled with the loss in last Thursday's 2-1 decision at Colorado and yielded both runs in five innings of work. One of the six hits allowed was a home run.
Ross won his only home start on April 12 versus San Francisco, tossing six innings and permitting three runs with eight strikeouts. The right-hander has never faced the Astros.
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.