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Astros Travel To L.A. To Meet Rare Franchise That Is More Dysfunctional Than They Are

(Sports Network) - Two recently struggling foes get together for the first of three games tonight when the Houston Astros visit Dodger Stadium to meet the host Los Angeles Dodgers in an interleague weekend's lone National League series.

Both the Astros and Dodgers come in after being swept in their most recent home series. Houston lost three in a row at Minute Maid Park to Pittsburgh, while Los Angeles was beaten three straight by the Cincinnati Reds.

The Pirates closed out their sweep and sent Houston to its 11th loss in 13 games on Thursday, when Garrett Jones belted a three-run homer in a 5-4 Pittsburgh victory.

Jordan Lyles (0-2) made his fourth career start for the Astros and allowed five runs - three earned - on four hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.

On Wednesday in Los Angeles, Scott Rolen went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs as the Reds completed their sweep with a 7-2 win.

It was Cincinnati's first sweep in Los Angeles since 2004.

Juan Uribe and Marcus Thames each drove in a run for the Dodgers, who'll continue a 12-game homestand this evening. Starter Chad Billingsley was knocked around for seven runs on nine hits and four walks in just four innings.

Los Angeles is fourth in the NL West Division, 8 1/2 games behind first-place San Francisco. Houston, whose 25-45 mark is worst in the league, is sixth in the Central and trails division-leading Milwaukee by 14 games.

The Astros begin the weekend with right-hander Brett Myers, a 14-game winner last season who's managed just two wins in 14 starts so far in 2011.

He was beaten by the Atlanta Braves in his most recent outing June 12 in Texas, allowing four runs on five hits in seven innings.

Myers is 4-2 with a save and a 2.61 earned run average in 12 career games against Los Angeles.

The Dodgers counter with veteran southpaw Ted Lilly, who's alternated wins and losses in his last 10 starts.

The 35-year-old defeated San Diego, 3-2, on April 29 and has subsequently lost to the Chicago Cubs, beaten Pittsburgh, lost to Arizona, beaten Colorado, lost to Philadelphia and beaten Colorado again to get to 5-5 overall.

He got a no-decision at Houston with six innings of one-run ball in a game Los Angeles lost, 2-1, on May 25.

In 14 career starts against the Astros, Lilly is 7-2 with a 2.30 ERA in 90 innings.

Houston won two of three meetings from the Dodgers at Minute Maid Park back in May. The Dodgers went 4-2 against Houston last season and took two of three bouts between the teams held in Los Angeles in 2010.

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