Chicago at Houston

Venue: Minute Maid Park
  •  

Justin Germano doesn't need any reminders of how poorly he's pitched lately for the Chicago Cubs. Facing the team he last beat may help take his mind off those tough outings.

He'll try to avoid a fifth consecutive loss while the visiting Cubs seek their first five-game winning streak of the season Tuesday night against the Houston Astros.

Germano (2-6, 6.95 ERA) has a dismal 11.09 ERA over his last four starts after giving up seven runs in four innings of Thursday's 9-2 loss at Washington, his shortest start of the season. He's allowed at least five runs in each outing during his slump as opponents have hit .369.

His last victory came against Houston on Aug. 15, when he allowed two runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 7-2 win. Germano's only lifetime start in Houston was the worst of his career, though, as he gave up a career-high 10 runs and 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings while pitching for San Diego on April 21, 2008.

Chicago (55-86) hopes this outing goes much better as it seeks to win five straight for the first time since a seven-game run July 31-Aug. 6, 2011.

The Cubs swept Pittsburgh over the weekend, then beat the Astros 4-1 in Monday's series opener. Dave Sappelt doubled twice and finished with three RBIs as Chicago ended a five-game losing streak in Houston.

Manager Dale Sveum said the Cubs are conscious of their record and are hoping to avoid losing 100 games for the first time since the 1966 team went 59-103.

"Those guys are starting to understand how close that 100 losses is," Sveum said. "That's the goal. That's the talk now and obviously they're responding now."

The Astros (44-97), meanwhile, have lost 10 of their last 11 at home and are inching closer to their second consecutive 100-loss campaign. Houston interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said his young players need to start capitalizing on opportunities.

Justin Maxwell and Fernando Martinez each went 2 for 4 on Monday.

"I'm glad the guys are getting opportunities to prove they are major league hitters, but at some point, the guys have to be accountable for their at-bats and try to grind them out," DeFrancesco said.

Houston will look to bounce back with help from Jordan Lyles, though it has lost 18 of his 21 starts.

Lyles (3-11, 5.55) had another rough outing last Tuesday, giving up five runs in 4 2-3 innings of a 6-2 loss at Pittsburgh.

"I think it comes down to delivery," Lyles said. "I've got to work on being better out of the stretch, and (Tuesday) it wasn't there."

The right-hander, though, has been better at home, going 2-4 with a 4.26 ERA in 10 outings compared to 1-7 with a 6.95 ERA in 11 road starts. Both of Lyles' career outings versus the Cubs were in Chicago last season, as he delivered two quality starts without earning a decision.

The teams combined for 14 walks, two hit batters, three wild pitches and 24 left on base in Monday's series opener.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
Probable Starters

Justin Germano, RHP
2012 stats
49.2 Innings Pitched 118.1
2-6 Wins-Losses 3-11
6.16 Earned Run Average 5.55
12 Walks 34
33 Strikeouts 81
85 Pitches Per Start 95
Career vs. opponent
15.2 Innings Pitched 13.0
1-2 Wins-Losses 0-0
8.62 Earned Run Average 3.46

Jordan Lyles, RHP
Weather
weather image  Afternoon clouds. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
89°F65°F9mph/E43%18%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Chi Cubs5th NL Central7389.451175-5 W 1
Houston4th AL West7092.432283-7 L 2
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Jordan Lyles
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Barney62000.333
Castro61001.167
Berken000000
Bowden000000
Cabrera000000
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Justin Germano
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Moore32101.667
Altuve32000.667
Barnes21000.500
Snyder52010.400
Bogusevic100000
 

Related Video

January 28, 2015
Fantasy Update: Miguel Montero (0:57)
January 28, 2015
Fantasy Update: Arismendy Alcantara
(0:59)
January 22, 2015
Fantasy Update: Kyle Hendricks
(0:51)
January 22, 2015
Fantasy Update: Kris Bryant
(1:00)
Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Chi. Cubs 115 Houston -125
Injuries
Chi Cubs
PlayerInjury
S. CastroAnkle
J. McDonaldShoulder
J. RuggianoAnkle
R. SweeneyHamstring
Houston
PlayerInjury
M. AlbersShoulder
J. CisneroElbow
J. CrainBiceps, calf
D. DownsOblique
G. SpringerKnee, quadriceps
J. ZeidFoot
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 20SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Apr 21SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Apr 22SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Apr 30HOU   
May 1HOU   
May 2HOU   
May 3HOU   
Jun 12HOU   
Jun 13HOU   
Jun 14HOU   
Jun 19SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Jun 20SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Jun 21SEA 4:10 PM EDT  
Aug 31HOU   
Sep 1HOU   
Sep 2HOU   
Sep 28SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 29SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 30SEA10:10 PM EDT