(Sports Network) - Despite trading away two of their top players, the Houston Astros find themselves in position to do something they haven't done all season; win five games in a row.
The Astros will try to do just that this afternoon when they go for a three- game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers at Minute Maid Park.
Currently 13 1/2 games out of first place in the National League Central, the Astros dealt ace Roy Oswalt to the Phillies on Thursday, then completed a deal yesterday to ship first baseman Lance Berkman to the Yankees.
Despite the new look, Houston has outscored its opponents 25-2 over its season high-tying win streak and hasn't allowed a run to the Brewers yet in this series. The Brewers took Friday's opener, 5-0, then scored a 6-0 triumph last night thanks to eight scoreless innings by Wandy Rodriguez.
Rodriguez scattered five hits and a walk while striking out nine. He is 6-1 over his last seven starts, allowing one earned run or less in five of those games.
"That's special because you know you're going to get a chance when you get a pitching performance like that," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "You're going to have a chance to win a ball game, and then to see the guys come through at the plate like that was very nice."
Angel Sanchez drove in two runs, while Chris Johnson, Jeff Keppinger, Jason Michaels and Michael Bourn each had an RBI. Johnson extended his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest by an Astros rookie since Julio Lugo's 14-game run in 2000.
With Berkman now in New York, the Astros recalled first baseman prospect Brett Wallace, acquired from Toronto on Thursday, but he went 0-for-4 in his major league debut.
While the Astros are rolling, the Brewers have now been held scoreless in their last 23 innings and are 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position in this series.
Dave Bush got rocked in five frames, giving up six runs on 10 hits for the Brewers, who have dropped four straight games.
"We just didn't make good at-bats at times," Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks said. "That's what happens sometimes."
The Brewers and Astros split six games in Milwaukee earlier this year and Houston will try to sweep the Brewers for the first time since doing so at home in three games from May 2-4, 2008.
The Astros go for the sweep today behind Wesley Wright, with the 25-year-old set to make the third start of his career and first against a team other than the Cubs.
Wright began his career as a reliever with Houston in 2008 and even made his first six appearances this year out of the bullpen. He then earned that first start on July 20 in Chicago and gave up six runs, only one earned, over 4 2/3 innings of a no-decision.
The lefty faced the Cubs again on July 26 and took the loss, allowing four runs on eight hits over five innings of work, falling to 0-1 with a 5.12 earned run average this year.
Wright has faced the Brewers 14 times in relief, spanning 11 2/3 innings, and is 0-1 with a 3.09 ERA.
Coming off one of the worst outings of his career, Randy Wolf rebounded in a big way on Monday versus the Reds and he hopes to put forth another solid outing today.
The 33-year-old was blasted for a career-high 12 runs over 5 2/3 innings in a loss at Pittsburgh on July 21, but five days later he held the Reds to just a pair of runs on five hits over seven innings. Wolf did not get a decision in his team's 3-2 win however.
"It was a nightmare game," Wolf told Milwaukee's website, referring to his outing in Pittsburgh. "Those are the kind of games you try to put behind you. They're the kind of games where you could go out there and tell [the hitters] what was coming, and it would be better than it was. You can't lose sight of that."
Wolf is 7-9 with a 5.07 ERA this year and has faced the Astros once in 2010. The left-hander defeated them on May 25 with seven scoreless innings of four- hit ball, improving to 5-5 with a 3.63 ERA lifetime versus Houston.