The struggling Astros try to snap their four-game losing skid tonight in Pittsburgh. Fortunately for them, they’ll have Wandy Rodriguez on the mound.
Rodriguez (6-4, 2.97 ERA) started and won the only game the Astros have won in their last 10 games, a 7-0 win over the Rangers on Thursday.
The 32-year-old southpaw threw seven shutout innings at Minute Maid Park, continuing a string of impressive performances. In his last nine starts, Rodriguez is 5-1 with a 1.77 ERA.
Jeff Karstens (6-4, 2.65 ERA) gets the ball for the Pirates, who are three games above .500 and a game and a half behind the division-leading Cardinals. It’s the closest the Pirates have been to first place at this time of the season since 1997.
The Astros will have a new face in their bullpen tonight. The team has called up right-handed reliever Fernando Rodriguez from AAA. Rodriguez was 1-0 with a 2.87 ERA in 15.2 innings with the Astros earlier this season. Fernando Abad has been placed on the DL with a sore shoulder.