(Sports Network) - Roy Oswalt gets a chance to pitch against his former team for the first time today when the Philadelphia Phillies try to complete a season-opening three-game sweep versus the Houston Astros.
The Phillies haven't swept a series at home against Houston since May 7-9, 2002, but can do so this afternoon with Oswalt on the mound instead of in left field.
During a 4-2, 16-inning loss to the Astros last August, Oswalt was thrown into playing the outfield because the Phillies were out of position players after Ryan Howard was ejected.
This time, the three-time All-Star, who spent his first 9 1/2 seasons in an Astros uniform, gets to show off his arm and what his former team may be missing.
Oswalt fashioned a 7-1 record with a 1.74 ERA in 12 starts for the Phillies. The right-hander was unstoppable down the stretch, wining his final seven decisions and having allowed one or fewer runs in eight of his starts after coming to Philadelphia.
As for the Astros, they were hoping to have the man they traded Oswalt for, left-hander J.A. Happ, on the hill this afternoon, but he has been pushed back to Tuesday due to a mildly strained right oblique.
Instead, it will be righty Bud Norris, who had an up and down 2010, ending the year 9-10 with a 4.92 ERA. Seven of his wins, though, came after the All-Star break.
"I'm excited," said Norris. "Unfortunately, J.A.'s not ready. We want to get him healthy, because we know this year we can't do it without him. Getting him some extra time is going to be huge for him, but I'm ready to go. I got my full rest. [The Phillies are] a good team, but I'm excited to get out there for my first start of the year."
On Saturday, Raul Ibanez and Ben Francisco each posted two hits and two RBI in a 9-4 Phillies victory. Shane Victorino also drove in a pair, Placido Polanco tallied three hits and scored twice and Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI double for the Phillies, who moved to 2-0 for the second straight season. Victorino was pulled as a precaution with a sore left calf prior to the top of the sixth and is considered day-to-day.
Making his first regular-season start for Philadelphia since October 1, 2009, Cliff Lee worked seven innings and allowed three runs on four hits while fanning 11 without walking a batter.
"He did a lot of stuff out there to get us off our game," Astros manager Brad Mills said of Lee. "Every time we adjusted to what he was throwing, he came back and re-adjusted with his cutter and kept us off-balance."
Carlos Lee finished 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and four RBI for the Astros.
Wandy Rodriguez was pulled after four-plus frames and charged with nine hits and seven runs.