Houston Astros (32-40) at Washington Nationals (36-33), 7:05 p.m. (ET)
06/17/2014 10:40 AM
06/18/2014 10:33 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - Washington starter Gio Gonzalez has never lost in three previous starts against Houston, a club that the Nationals have bested in seven straight meetings.
It seems like a good time then for Gonzalez to make his return from the disabled list.
The left-hander will do just that on Wednesday evening as the Nats wrap up a quick two-game set with the visiting Astros.
Gonzalez is set to make his first start since May 17, when he dropped his third outing in a row before going on the DL with left shoulder inflammation. He did so sporting a 3-4 record and a 4.62 earned run average in nine starts this season.
The 28-year-old, though, is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his career versus the Astros and appears ready to return following a pair of rehab outings. The first didn't go well as he allowed eight earned runs in 3 2/3 innings, but he yielded just one earned run over four innings while throwing 45 of his 79 pitches for strikes in the second.
Gonzalez has also performed well in his bullpen sessions.
"We were here (Monday) for his bullpen; he threw really well," manager Matt Williams told MLB.com. "The ball's coming out really good. So yeah, it's going to be nice to have him back. He's been itching to get back too. ... Health- wise, he's good."
The Nationals continue to be good against the Astros, winning Tuesday's opener 6-5 after having swept a two-game set in Houston during late April to keep their series winning streak going.
Anthony Rendon drove in three runs on a pair of doubles, while Ryan Zimmerman had two RBI to help Washington snap a four-game skid.
"We scored enough," said Williams. "They have been putting up a lot of runs too. It was good to see the offense come alive."
Starter Tanner Roark earned the win after surrendering just one run on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts over five innings.
Jose Altuve had four hits for the Astros, who have lost three of their last four. Dallas Keuchel gave up four runs on six hits and four walks in five innings in the loss.
"I was kind of battling to find my stuff all night," said Keuchel. "I felt fortunate enough to get through five, especially the way I was pitching and the way that lineup was swinging the bat."
Houston scored four of its runs in the eighth inning off Washington reliever Tyler Clippard, who allowed an RBI single to Jonathan Villar, a run-scoring hit to Dexter Fowler and Altuve's two-run double.
However, Washington held on and bested Houston for the 10th time in the last 11 meetings.
Scott Feldman hopes to reverse that trend tonight for the Astros as he faces the Nats for the second time. The first encounter came on May 12 of last year with the Chicago Cubs and the righty did not get a decision after hurling six innings of one-run ball.
Feldman struggled in back-to-back losses ahead of a no-decision versus Arizona on Thursday. He yielded nine runs over 5 1/3 frames versus Baltimore to begin the month, then was charged with three unearned runs while lasting just 1 2/3 frames in Minnesota on June 7.
However, the 31-year-old limited the Diamondbacks to three runs -- two earned -- on four hits over 6 1/3 innings, striking out six to zero walks.
Feldman is 3-4 with a 3.98 ERA on the season.
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