The Houston Astros made changes in the offseason, hoping it would result in more offense. The new lineup produced a similar result to last year’s team in a 4-0 loss to the San Diego Padres Monday night in the season opener.
The Astros only managed four hits in the game, with newly acquired shortstop Miguel Tejada getting two of them. Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee combined to go 0-for-6, with Berkman receiving two walks.
Padres’ pitcher Jake Peavy contributed to the Astros' lack of offense and their defeat. The 2007 NL Cy Young award winner pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits, three walks and struck out four.
Peavy also hurt the Astros with his bat, as he drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, and a single in the fourth inning to give San Diego a 2-0 lead.
He walked in the sixth inning prompting Houston’s starter Roy Oswalt to be pulled.
Oswalt pitched five-and-a-third innings allowing 11 hits, three runs, one walk, and striking out six in a losing effort.
Oswalt said he did not have many pitches working for him in the game.
“I didn’t really have a whole lot tonight,” Oswalt said. “I didn’t have any breaking pitches. Pretty much had to pitch my fastball the whole night.”
Houston manager Cecil Cooper gave credit to Peavy for the Astros’ loss.
"I called Roy the best pitcher on the planet said. "I guess I just saw the second-best pitcher on the planet tonight. He's pretty good. It wasn't by accident that he won the Cy Young last year. He was definitely on."
The Padres started the scoring in the second inning. After Khalil Greene struck out, Josh Bard doubled to left. Paul McAnulty then singled to shallow left-center field moving Bard to third. Bard then scored on Peavy’s sacrifice fly to left.
In the fourth inning, Bard got a one-out single which was followed by McAnulty singling to right. Peavy then drove Bard in on a single.
Tadahito Iguchi led off the fifth with a double and moved to third when Kevin Kouzmanoff grounded out. Adrian Gonzalez drove in Iguchi on a single to center to make it a 3-0 lead.
The Padres scored their last run in the seventh, when Greene singled to left and advanced to second on Bard’s ground out. McAnulty walked, and Tony Clark drove in Greene with a single to center.
Iguchi went 3-for-5 and scored a run to lead the Padres in hitting. McAnulty went two-for-three with a walk. Bard went two-for-four and scored both times he got on base.
The new additions to the Astros did not put runs on the board, but did get majority of their hits. Centerfielder Michael Bourn singled in the first and Tejada went two-for-four with a double.
Wesley Wright made his major league debut and did not allow a run in the one third of an inning. Newly acquired pitcher Geoff Geary pitched the eighth and struck out two.
Mark Loretta started at second base for the Astros, who are playing their first season without Craig Biggio since 1987.
The Astros face the Padres again Tuesday at 9:05 PM CST. Brandon Backe will start for the Astros against the Padres' Chris Young.