Astros Turn To Norris To End Losing Skid

By ROBERT HENSLEE, SportsRadio 610

This time last week, the Astros were coming up big in the clutch in every game it seemed, in the midst of a season-best four game winning streak.  Now it seems they can’t buy a big hit to save their lives.

The Astros are hoping to get their swing back in form tonight to avoid matching a season-worst five game losing skid as they host the division-leading Cardinals. 

The Astros stranded thirteen runners and left the bases loaded twice in the series opener, a 7-4 loss.  During their four game losing streak, the team has a .125 batting average with runners in scoring position.

To make matters worse, the Astros will be facing the Cardinals best pitcher this season, 24-year-old lefthander Jaime Garcia (6-1, 3.05 ERA).  Garcia struggled a bit in his last start against the Astros, giving up four runs in 5-plus innings of a 6-5 loss, but he didn’t factor in the decision.

The Astros will turn to Bud Norris (3-4, 3.95 ERA) to help stop their skid.  Norris is 5-2 in eight career starts againstSt. Louis, but the Cardinals roughed him up the last time they saw him, scoring five runs in five innings of a 5-1 Astros loss on May 18. 

Hunter Pence singled twice in Tuesday’s series opener to extend his career-best hitting streak to 18 games.  Pence has a .389 batting average during the streak.

Lance Berkman continued pummeling his former teammates in the opener, slugging his 13th homerun of the season.  Berkman now has 9 hits in 18 at bats against the Astros, including three homers.


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