Padres In Town To Tangle With Norris, Astros

(Sports Network) - The San Diego Padres will try to record consecutive wins for the first time since the season's early stages with a fourth straight win over the Houston Astros tonight in the opener of a four-game series at Minute Maid Park.

San Diego has won just three of nine since winning its first two contests of the season and avoided a three-game sweep on Wednesday by rallying to beat Cincinnati, 3-2.

Orlando Hudson drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a single with the bases loaded after scoring the game-tying run on Jorge Cantu's ground out in the eighth inning. Hudson's hit scored Nick Hundley, who got San Diego on the board in the seventh inning with an RBI, while closer Heath Bell got the win with a scoreless top of the ninth.

"It was a great win for us," said Padres manager Bud Black, who was ejected in the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez. "We kept at them and things went our way in the end."

Hudson is hitting .361 (13-for-36) over a nine-game hitting streak and he'll look to extend that run in support of tonight's starter Dustin Moseley, who aims for his first victory of the season.

The 29-year-old right-hander has lost his first two starts despite allowing just three earned runs over 13 innings as the Padres have yet to score in either of his outings. He faced the Dodgers on Saturday and gave up three runs -- two earned -- on eight hits over six innings of a 4-0 setback.

Moseley has never started against the Astros, but has been charged with two runs in an inning of relief work against them.

Houston starter Bud Norris is also without a win, a situation he will try to remedy tonight as well.

Norris has fanned 13 batters over 10 innings to begin the season, but holds an 8.10 earned run average. He took a loss in Philadelphia on April 3 by giving up five runs in four innings then did not factor into the decision of Saturday's outing versus Florida. Norris gave up four runs on five hits over six innings in that one.

The 26-year-old righty is 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA in two career starts versus San Diego.

Houston dropped the rubber match of a series with Chicago on Wednesday as starter Wandy Rodriguez gave up five first-inning runs en route to a 9-5 loss.

The Astros got all five of their runs in the sixth inning, with Carlos Lee and Brett Wallace singling home runs and Matt Downs blasting a two-run homer. Houston failed to close the gap completely and Chicago added another three runs in the ninth.

The Astros have lost four of six and are 3-9 on the season.

"We're not playing bad at all," Houston's Bill Hall said. "We're just that one hit away. If we keep grind, we're going to strike it."

The Padres won five of seven over the Astros last year, shutting out Houston three times while winning the final three meetings.

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