Tampa Bay at Houston, 7:10 pm (CT)
Fausto Carmona Roberto Hernández (4-9 / 4.98 ERA / 1.33 WHIP) vs. RHP Bud Norris ( 5-7 / 3.35 ERA / 1.37 WHIP)
Thus far in the four game series with Tampa Bay, the Astros have been out scored 20-0. Houston have had a total of six hits over 56 at-bats (.107). Nine batters in total have reached first this series, and all have been strained.
The one shinning light for the Astros, on the mound for the Rays is Roberto Hernández. Hernández is another of the Ray's reclamation project, picked up from the scrapheap after a disastrous 2012 season. The Rays right-hander is currently on a three game losing streak, giving up 12 earned runs over 20 2/3 innings. Hernández did have a strong outing his last start, threes runs over eight innings against the Blue Jays. He will work his a hard sinker and change-up combination to keep the Astros off the board. Carlos Pena is back in the lineup today and is 1-for-10 against Hernández with two RBI.
Bud Norris will take the ball for the Astros, hoping to stop Houston's five game losing streak. Norris has quietly continued to lead the Astros staff with 11 quality starts in his past 13 outings.He has posted a 2.42 ERA over over his last eight starts. Unfortunately, Norris has the fifth lowest run-support average of any pitcher in the major leagues (2.94). James Loney has been a Norris-killer, batting .500 in 14 at-bats.