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Astros letting their play do the talking

Astros letting their play do the talking

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HOUSTON -- With each win, the unthinkable becomes just a little more plausible. But the Astros aren't seriously talking playoffs yet, despite winning 12 of their last 13.

"We've still got a tremendous amount to do if we're going to make the playoffs," first baseman Lance Berkman said. "It would still take a small miracle, but it would take a smaller one today than it would have a month ago."

The Astros are only four games behind first-place Milwaukee in the National League Wild Card standings following their win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday night and the Brewers' loss to the Reds.

"We have to win 15 at a minimum to have a chance," Berkman said.

The Astros (78-67) are 11 games over .500 for the first time this season. They have 17 games remaining.

"About a month or so ago I said 90 [wins], and I still think that's what it's going to take," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "I think we're on a pace to possibly get to 90, and we're going to try to win 94. We're going to go for it, and see what happens."

Pitching matchup
HOU: RHP Brian Moehler (10-6, 4.22 ERA)
In his last start, Moehler had one of his shorter outings since he joined the starting rotation, allowing five runs over 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Rockies. The right-hander has faced the Pirates twice this year, both as a starter. He earned the win on July 9 in Pittsburgh after yielding four runs over seven innings, and on July 23 at home, he took the loss in his shortest outing of the year, allowing six runs (five earned) in 2 1/3 innings.

PIT: LHP Tom Gorzelanny (6-9, 6.64 ERA)
Staked to a 5-0 lead after an inning and a half against the Reds in his last start, Gorzelanny couldn't take advantage, getting knocked out by the Reds before completing four innings. Although his strikeout-to-walk ratio has shown some slight improvement since he was called up on Aug. 23, Gorzelanny still has more walks than strikeouts for the season (68-to-65). Gorzelanny has just four quality starts in his past 17 outings.

Tidbits
Berkman's three runs scored on Tuesday night gave the first baseman 891 for his career, moving him past Cesar Cedeno for sole possession of third place on the franchise's all-time list. ... Miguel Tejada extended his hitting streak to 10 consecutive games with a base hit in the first inning. ... Darin Erstad's three hits raised his average as a starter to .297 in 59 starts. In his last 27 games Erstad is hitting .317. ... The Astros announced that Minor League field coordinator Tom Wiedenbauer has been offered another role in the organization. The announcement was made by general manager Ed Wade. "Tom is a huge asset to the Astros' organization," Wade said. "He's performed in a number of significant roles, and it's our hope that he will be with us going forward." The search for Wiedenbauer's successor will begin shortly. Wiedenbauer is in his 31st year with the Astros organization and his eighth in the field coordinator role. He has served as a player, coach, manager, roving instructor, and Minor League field coordinator during his tenure with the Astros.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN-HD

On radio
• KTRH 740, KLAT 1010 (Español)

Up next
• Thursday: Astros (Roy Oswalt, 14-9, 3.72) vs. Pirates (Zach Duke, 5-13, 4.87), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Friday: Astros (Jack Cassel, 1-1, 6.65) vs. Cubs (Jason Marquis, 10-8, 4.36), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Astros (Alberto Arias, 1-0, 1.93) vs. Cubs (Carlos Zambrano, 13-5, 3.58), 6:05 p.m. CT

Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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