The Houston Astros haven't had much luck in the Pacific Time zone so far. They're hoping their fortunes reverse this weekend during the extended series in Arizona.
The Astros' losing skid reached four with three straight losses in San Francisco, and now they'll hope to have better luck against a team they beat twice during a three-game series at Minute Maid Park from May 11-13.
The Astros will probably have to do without Brad Lidge for at least the first game of the four-game set with the D-backs. Lidge is nursing a bone bruise on his right knee and while he could return this weekend, Thursday likely is not an option.
HOU: LHP Wandy Rodriguez (2-3, 3.99 ERA)
Rodriguez ended an 18-game winless streak with a victory over these D-backs this past week, using offspeed pitches to keep Arizona hitters off balance and limit them to four hits. He'll try to have the same success on the road, where he's struggled this year, going 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA. Although he went 10 months without winning a game, he's now won two consecutive starts, including an outstanding performance at home against Texas, during which he allowed one run on four hits in six innings.
ARI: RHP Micah Owings (2-1, 4.96 ERA)
Owings got hammered in his last start, as he allowed seven runs on six hits in just 2 2/3 innings against the Pirates at PNC Park. Owings uncharacteristically did not have command of his pitches as he walked four, including two with the bases loaded. In fairness, it was the right-hander's first start since May 8, a span of 11 days, because he had his turn skipped in the rotation. Owings faced the Astros in relief in Houston and allowed one run in 1 2/3 innings.
Player to watch
Right-hander Dan Wheeler has successfully converted each of his last nine save chances since April 9. His nine saves on the year ties his total from 2006.
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Official game notes
Friday: Astros (Woody Williams, 1-6, 5.52) at D-backs (TBD), 8:40 p.m. CT
Saturday: Astros (Chris Sampson, 4-4, 3.31) at D-backs (Brandon Webb, 3-3, 3.86), 8:40 p.m. CT
Sunday: Astros (Roy Oswalt, 6-3, 3.04) at D-backs (Livan Hernandez, 4-2, 3.66), 3:40 p.m. CT
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.