National League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, July 20th (All times eastern)
Houston Astros (34-59) at Arizona Diamondbacks (44-48), 9:40 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Bud Norris (5-7, 4.70) Arizona - Trevor Cahill (7-8, 3.71)
(Sports Network) - Bud Norris hasn't tasted victory in almost two months and the Houston Astros haven't won in any of his last seven trips to the mound.
Something has to give when the road-weary Astros kick off a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight from Chase Field.
Norris is 0-6 with a 7.27 earned run average in his past seven starts and his last win came on May 21 versus the Chicago Cubs. Norris allowed three runs and five hits in six innings of a 3-2 setback at San Francisco on Sunday, falling to 5-7 in 16 starts to go along with a 4.70 ERA.
The right-hander, who is 2-6 in 10 road assignments, is aiming for his first career win against Arizona. Norris is 0-3 with a lofty 10.91 ERA in four career starts in this series. It's his worst ERA against any opponent.
If Norris can pitch close to how Lucas Harrell did in Thursday's 1-0 loss to San Diego in the finale of a four-game series, the Astros could be in good shape. But then again Houston couldn't overcome a one-run deficit.
Harrell struck out six batters and allowed the lone run in seven innings, and was outdueled by Padres starter Edinson Volquez, who tossed a one-hit shutout.
"I was just trying to keep it close after they got the run in the first," said Harrell.
Logan Forsythe stroked an RBI single in the first inning to give San Diego the lead for good. Matt Downs had the only hit for the Astros, who are 1-6 on a 10-game road trip, 10-38 as the visitor and have dropped 16 of 18 games.
The Astros are last in both the NL Central and Wild Card standings.
Arizona is back in the desert for a 10-game residency versus the Astros, Rockies and Mets, and just went 2-5 on a seven-game road trip against the Cubs and Reds. The club is in the midst of a 20-day stretch of games (2-5) and won't have a day off until Aug. 2.
In Thursday's 7-6 setback in Cincinnati, the Reds scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take the lead for good. Bryan Shaw suffered the loss for allowing four runs -- two earned -- in just one-third of an inning and starter Joe Saunders tossed six innings of three-run ball.
The Diamondbacks blew leads of 6-0 and 6-3 in the loss.
"You expect to win that game, for sure," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said on the club's website. "That's tough. [The Reds] have done it before. They're very resilient."
Aaron Hill and Henry Blanco hit a home run apiece and Paul Goldschmidt ended with two hits and an RBI for the Diamondbacks, losers in 11 of their past 16 games and seven games off the NL West lead. Arizona sits 6 1/2 games off the pace in the Wild Card standings.
Hill is riding a 10-game hitting streak and has a hit in 24 of the last 26 games dating back to June 18.
Since a personal four-game winning streak, D-backs starter Trevor Cahill is 1-3 with a 4.63 earned run average in his last four starts. Cahill will take the mound tonight and previously toed the rubber in a 3-1 road setback against the Cubs last Sunday.
Cahill gave up three runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings and dropped to 7-8 in 18 starts with a 3.71 ERA. The right-hander has never faced Houston in his career and owns a 3-4 mark in eight starts in the desert.
Arizona and Houston are meeting for the first time since the Diamondbacks took six of seven matchups a year ago. The D-backs own a 14-4 record in the past 18 matchups between the two ballclubs.
07/20 10:46:38 ET