Astros-Padres Preview

Winning at Petco Park has been a rarity for the San Diego Padres

this year. Consecutive victories in the spacious stadium has yet to

occur in 2011.

The Padres are in position to make it two straight in front of

the home fans as they continue a four-game series with the Houston

Astros on Saturday night.

After losing the opener Thursday, San Diego improved to 10-21 at

Petco with Friday’s 3-1 win. Dustin Moseley pitched seven strong

innings and Chris Denorfia had two hits, including a homer.

The turning point, according to Moseley, came when Padres

manager Bud Black was ejected in the fourth inning.

”It got everybody rocking and rolling,” Moseley said. ”It was

good. It definitely helps when you’ve got your fans behind you and

you have some energy flowing. Guys can feed off that.”

The Padres last won two in a row at home on Sept. 24 and 25

against Cincinnati.

J.R. Towles drove in the lone run Friday for Houston, which had

its season-high four game win streak and a five-game run on the

road snapped.

”We didn’t have too many chances tonight,” third baseman Chris

Johnson said. ”But we’re not going to dwell on it. We’ll forget

about it and start a new streak tomorrow.”

The Astros are 0-10 when scoring two or fewer runs away from


San Diego’s Aaron Harang (5-2, 3.88 ERA) will try once again to

match his win total from each of the last three years while with


The right-hander has posted four straight no-decisions with a

3.55 ERA since beating Arizona on May 8. Over his last three

starts, Harang has allowed just four runs in 21 innings.

He was sharp again Monday, giving up two runs and six hits in

six innings of a 3-2 win in 10 over Atlanta.

Harang won his first four starts this year, including a

spectacular outing April 15 against the Astros. He yielded one run

and three hits with a season-high eight strikeouts in six innings

of the Padres’ 4-2 win in Houston.

Harang will be looking for his 13th career win against the

Astros (23-35). The 13 wins over the Chicago Cubs are his most

against any foe.

Hunter Pence, who extended his hitting streak to 15 games

Friday, is 8 for 25 in his career against Harang. Bill Hall (17 for

49) and Carlos Lee (16 for 43) have also fared well against the San

Diego native.

After a solid effort in his first major league start last month,

Houston’s Aneury Rodriguez (0-2, 5.40) has been knocked around


The right-hander gave up one hit and one walk in five innings of

a walk-off loss to the Reds on May 4. Over the next five starts,

Rodriguez is 0-2 with a 6.04 ERA and has made it through six

innings once.

He struggled against the Cubs on Monday, allowing six runs in

four innings before Houston rallied for a 12-7 win.

Rodriguez has never faced San Diego (25-33).