The worst team in baseball will try to slow down one of the hottest for the second straight night when the Houston Astros host the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. Lowly Houston avoided its 99th loss of the season with a three-run eighth-inning rally to pull out a 6-4 win that snapped Philadelphia’s seven-game winning streak. The Phillies fell four games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League’s second wild-card spot.
Thursday’s loss was just the fifth in 20 games for the Phillies, who slipped back to .500. The four-game series against Houston is supposed to be a time when a veteran Philadelphia squad keeps its hot streak going but the Astros didn’t back down, rallying from a 4-0 deficit and scoring all three of their eighth-inning runs after two were out. Houston is 6-6 in September after a dreadful 5-2 mark in August. The Astros had scored one run or less in four of their previous five games.
Phillies Astros Betting
When: 8:05 PM ET, Friday, September 14, 2012
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet (Philadelphia), Fox Sports Houston
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies LH Cole Hamels (14-6, 3.03 ERA) vs. Astros RH Edgar Gonzalez (2-0, 1.74)
Hamels has received three straight no-decisions following a stretch of three consecutive victories. He allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings against the Colorado Rockies in his last turn. His next victory will match his career-high win mark set in 2007. Hamels hasn’t faced Houston this season and is 3-3 with a 5.02 ERA in nine career starts against the Astros.
Gonzalez was moved up a day in the rotation when Bud Norris was scratched Thursday due to blisters on the middle finger of his pitching hand. He is making his third start for the Astros, and allowed one run in each of his first two assignments. He gave up one run and two hits in five innings while beating the Cincinnati Reds in his last outing.
1. Philadelphia SS Jimmy Rollins stole his 400th career base when he swiped third for the 11th time this season. He has 27 steals overall.
2. Houston SS Jed Lowrie delivered the decisive pinch-hit two-run double in his second game since returning from a leg injury.
3. Phillies 1B Ryan Howard is batting just .178 with no homers in 45 September at-bats.