Houston improved to 4-0 on its current seven-game road trip in Thursday’s opener, as Chris Johnson hit a solo homer, drove in two runs and scored twice, propelling the Astros to a 7-4 win.
Carlos Lee, J.R. Towles, Brett Wallace and starter Bud Norris each drove in a run for the Astros, who have won the first four games of a seven-game road trip and have won five straight on the road overall.
A win tonight would give Houston its first six-game road tear since July 18-22, 2005.
Norris (3-4) gave up four runs on six hits over six-plus innings, but picked the win. He also struck out six and walked two.
“The guys did a great job getting some runs early to put the pressure on them,” said Norris.
Chase Headley went 1-for-3 with an RBI to extend his hitting streak to 12 games for the Padres, who have lost two in a row on the heels of a four-game losing streak.
Tim Stauffer (1-4), who turned 29 on Thursday, allowed seven runs — five earned — on eight hits over five full frames. He also struck out four and walked two in the loss.
Getting the call for the Astros this evening will be left-hander J.A. Happ, who is 3-6 with a 4.66 ERA. Happ did not get a decision on Sunday against Arizona, despite a terrific outing that saw him allow just a run and two hits in six innings. He also struck out eight, but remained winless in his last three starts (0-2).
Happ lost to the Padres back on April 15 and is 1-1 in three games (two starts) against them with a 2.12 ERA.
San Diego, meanwhile, will counter with righty Dustin Moseley, who is a mere 1-6 on the season with a 3.18 ERA. Moseley did not factor in the decision of his team’s win on Sunday in Washington, but pitched well enough to get a win, as he yielded three runs (two earned) and six hits in five innings.
Run support has plagued Moseley all season, as the Padres manage just 2.08 runs-per-game in his starts, with him surrendering two earned runs or less in eight of his 11 appearances this season.
“I would rather give up a couple [runs] every night if it meant we could win a ballgame. That’s for sure,” Moseley said. “Winning … it’s what we’re here for. For me to say I’m satisfied with me doing well, that’s not it at all.”
Moseley lost to the Astros earlier in the year and is 0-2 in two games (one start) against them with a 3.52 ERA.
Houston has won three of its five matchups with San Diego this season, but the Padres have won five of the last eight matchups overall.