Major League Baseball
Mets-Astros Preview
Major League Baseball

Mets-Astros Preview

Published May. 2, 2012 2:22 a.m. ET

The Houston Astros are on the verge of sweeping a series from the New York Mets for the first time in nearly four years.

Jed Lowrie and Wandy Rodriguez should give them a good chance of finishing the job.

Lowrie looks for another strong offensive effort and Rodriguez goes for a third straight victory Wednesday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.

Houston (10-14) last swept a series from New York (13-11) from Aug. 1-3, 2008, at Minute Maid. The club is on the verge of another after beating the Mets 6-3 on Tuesday, a day after a 4-3 win in the opener.


The victories assured the Astros of winning their first series since taking two of three from Colorado to begin the season.

"I don't think we can look at it that way now," Lowrie said. "(Wednesday) is the most important game we have to play. It's nice to get these two, but it's going to be more important to get the one (Wednesday)."

Lowrie has been hot of late, going 8 for 17 with two homers and six RBIs the past five games. The shortstop has reached in six of his nine plate appearances against the Mets, hitting a two-run homer and walking three times in Tuesday's win.

While Lowrie tries to stay hot at the plate, Rodriguez (2-2, 1.72 ERA) is scheduled to get a chance at another impressive performance on the mound.

The left-hander has posted a 1.38 ERA in winning his last two starts after his first three ended in Houston losses despite his 1.96 ERA.

Rodriguez got plenty of support in a 12-0 win over the Dodgers on April 22, as he allowed three hits with six strikeouts in seven innings. He followed that five days later by yielding two runs and fanning six in six innings of a 6-4 victory at Cincinnati.

"I felt really good," Rodriguez told the team's official website following the win over the Reds. "I was hitting my spots with my fastball. I felt comfortable using all my pitches."

He's been rather comfortable in four career home starts against the Mets, going 2-0 with a 1.73 ERA.

New York is trying to avoid getting swept for the first time this season, and David Wright continues to do his part at the plate. The All-Star third baseman leads the majors with a .495 on-base percentage and is hitting .429 during an eight-game hitting streak.

He's 6 for 19 against Rodriguez. Scott Hairston, who hit for the cycle Friday in Colorado, is 6 for 13 with two doubles and two homers off the lefty.

The Mets are set to turn to Chris Schwinden (0-0, 11.25) for a second time after Mike Pelfrey was lost to a season-ending elbow injury.

Schwinden struggled in his first opportunity just hours after being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. He surrendered six runs and seven hits, including two homers, while committing a throwing error during Friday's 18-9 loss to the Rockies.

The right-hander is 0-2 with a 5.76 ERA in five major league starts.


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