National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, August 13th
(All times eastern)
Houston Astros (38-78) at Chicago Cubs (44-69), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Armando Galarraga (0-2, 4.70)
Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (7-10, 4.21)
(Sports Network) - Venezuelan right-hander Armando Galarraga makes his fourth
attempt at a first victory in a Houston uniform tonight when the Astros begin
a three-game series with the host Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Best known for a near-perfect game during his days with the Detroit Tigers,
Galarraga has won just three major-league games since last pitching for the
Tigers in 2010.
All three of those wins came with the Arizona Diamondbacks across eight starts
last season, before he was granted free agency, signed and released by the
Baltimore Orioles and signed again by Astros on May 21.
His initial three outings with the Astros have yielded a pair of losses and a
4.70 earned run average in 15 1/3 innings - more than a run better than the
5.91 mark he posted with the Diamondbacks.
In his last outing, on Aug. 8, Galarraga gave up three runs on six hits in
five innings of a 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals.
He's 2-1 in three career meetings with the Cubs.
Chicago counters with righty Jeff Samardzija, who seeks a first win since July
The former Notre Dame football player was 7-8 on the season after tossing
eight one-hit innings in a 2-0 win at Pittsburgh, but has since dropped two
decisions in three starts to fall to 19-19 in his big-league career.
In the three winless appearances, the 27-year-old has surrendered 15 hits and
eight runs in 18 1/3 innings while actually trimming his ERA from 4.25 to
He's 2-2 in 16 career meetings with the Astros.
On Sunday in Houston, Yovani Gallardo pitched into the eighth inning, Corey
Hart homered and scored twice and the Milwaukee Brewers avoided a three-game
sweep with a 5-3 victory over the Astros.
Jordan Lyles (2-9), currently the youngest starting pitcher in the major
leagues, allowed four runs - two earned - with five strikeouts and no walks
over seven innings in the loss.
The 21-year-old has dropped five straight decisions.
"He threw the ball really well," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "He's so
young but we're seeing him progress right before our eyes and it's great to
Marwin Gonzalez with 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI for the Astros, who were
looking to secure their first series sweep since taking three games from the
Cubs in late May.
In Chicago, Johnny Cueto tossed eight scoreless innings and the Cincinnati
Reds blanked the Cubs, 3-0, in the finale of a four- game series.
Cubs rookie starter Brooks Raley (0-2), who made just his second major league
start, was perfect through four but was saddled with the loss after allowing
three runs on five hits and a walk over six innings.
David DeJesus and Darwin Barney had hits in the loss for the Cubs, who have
lost 11 of their last 12.
"We're right back in the same rut we were in the beginning of the first couple
months where we just can't get anything going," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Both of the previous series between the teams in 2012 have ended in sweeps.
The Astros won three straight games in Houston from May 21-23, while the Cubs
did the same at Wrigley Field from June 29-July 1.
Chicago won last year's series, 8-7.
08/13 10:39:57 ET