Astros attempt to salvage set with Rangers
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Astros try to get back in the win column on Wednesday when they attempt to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park.
Houston had its 10-game winning streak stopped in Monday's opener, then lost again on Tuesday, as Wandy Rodriguez turned in eight stellar innings to earn his first major league victory in nearly two years and the Rangers picked up their first winning streak of the season with a 7-1 triumph.
Rodriguez (1-1), who spent eight seasons with Houston from 2005-11, held his former club to a run on three hits while fanning eight to win for the first time since May 26, 2013. The veteran lefty retired the final 19 batters he faced after the Astros loaded the bases in the second.
"I feel very, very comfortable on this mound," Rodriguez said. "For 7 1/2 years, it was great."
The Rangers' offense gave Rodriguez plenty of support by battering Scott Feldman (2-3) for six runs and nine hits in three innings. Kyle Blanks went 3- for-4 with a solo homer, Carlos Peguero added a two-run shot and Prince Fielder drove in a pair with a double during a four-run first.
Elvis Andrus finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored for Texas, which had been the lone team this season without back-to-back wins.
Houston got its only run on Luis Valbuena's first-inning homer.
"I just went out there and did terrible," Feldman said. "I've got to try to iron that out in between my next start."
Getting the call for the Astros on Wednesday will be righty Samuel Deduno, who will make his second start of the year. Deduno tossed four innings of one run ball on Friday against Seattle and did not get a decision. He has yet to record a decision in six appearances this season and has pitched to a 2.70 earned run average.
"I thought he competed very well," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I think he had quite a few first-pitch strikes. I think his fastball was in the zone, which helped his breaking ball."
Deduno has faced the Rangers four times (3 starts) and is 0-1 against them with a 7.56 ERA.
Texas, meanwhile, will counter with righty Colby Lewis, who is 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA. Lewis pitched well against Oakland on Friday, but did not get a decision despite scattering two hits over six scoreless innings in his team's 7-5 loss.
Lewis is 5-1 lifetime versus the Astros with a 1.95 ERA in 11 games (8 starts).
Houston took two of three from their Lone Star State rivals earlier in the season.