Astros Looks To Avoid Sixth Straight Loss

(Sports Network) – The Silver Boot trophy has already once again slipped out of the Astros’ grasp, but they have more pressing matters to deal with now.

Houston is on its longest home losing streak in 45 years and will try to end that drought tonight in the finale of a three-game series with the Texas Rangers.

The Silver Boot is awarded annually to the victor in each interleague matchup between the Astros and Rangers each season. Texas has taken the first two contests of this series to claim the honor for a fifth straight time and is now 14-3 versus Houston since the start of the 2009 campaign.

The Rangers’ 3-2 victory last night was their eighth in a row at Houston and the Astros’ eighth straight setback overall at Minute Maid Park. That marks their longest home slide since a franchise-record 11 straight defeats from July 23-Aug. 17, 1966 at the Astrodome.

Carlos Lee hit a solo homer and Clint Barmes added an RBI single, but Houston lost its season high-tying fifth straight game and for the eighth time in its last nine overall. Brett Myers pitched seven innings, giving up three runs to take the loss. He gave up a homer to Ian Kinsler to begin the game and the Rangers second baseman later got him for another solo homer in the third.

“I made a mistake and they came out swinging the bats,” Myers said of his performance. “I just had to make an adjustment. I was able to do that for the most part and tried to keep us in the game the best I could.”

Kinsler is hitting just .180 on the road this season, but has four hits, three homers and five RBI over the first two games of this series. His two homers, as well as Adrian Beltre’s RBI single in the first inning, helped make a winner out of Colby Lewis, who yielded two runs over 6 2/3 innings.

“I just needed a good game honestly, it doesn’t matter where,” Kinsler said. “I just wanted to be able to help the team win. Colby did a great job tonight, and to put those two runs on the board early helped him out.”

Texas had lost three of four before arriving in Houston and leads the Los Angeles Angels by 1 1/2 games for first place in the American League West. It turns tonight to Matt Harrison, who has pitched to a 1.43 earned run average over his past six starts.

Harrison has allowed just one earned run in each of last three outings, but picked up his first victory in that span on Friday versus the Mets. The left- hander turned in seven innings in an 8-1 victory, improving to 6-6 with a 3.00 earned run average in 14 starts.

Harrison has faced the Astros three times in his career, including once as a starter, and has posted a 3.38 ERA without a decision. However, the 25-year- old is 2-0 with a 0.83 ERA in three interleague starts this season.

Wandy Rodriguez counters for the Astros and he had won three straight starts and four decisions in a row prior to a setback to the Rays on Friday.

The southpaw had yielded just two runs over his previous four outings and was coming off back-to-back scoreless outings, spanning 12 innings, before getting drilled for five runs on six hits and two walks over six innings against Tampa Bay.

Rodriguez, 32, fell to 5-4 with a 3.21 ERA in 13 starts this season and is 3-2 with a 6.49 ERA in five career games against the Rangers.

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