Next Five

June 17, 2008|By ROCH KUBATKO

ALL GAMES ON 105.7 FM

TODAY Houston, 7:05 p.m., MASN

Starters: Astros' Brandon Backe (4-8, 5.00) vs. Orioles' Garrett Olson (5-2, 4.53) TOMORROW Houston, 7:05 p.m., MASN

Starters: Astros' Brian Moehler (3-3, 4.76) vs. Orioles' Jeremy Guthrie (3-7, 3.71) THURSDAY Houston, 7:05 p.m., MASN

Starters: Astros' Shawn Chacon (2-2, 4.69) vs. Orioles' Brian Burres (5-5, 5.28) FRIDAY @Milwaukee, 8:05 p.m., MASN2

Starters: Orioles' Radhames Liz (1-0, 4.32) vs. Brewers' Jeff Suppan (4-4, 3.68) SATURDAY @Milwaukee, 7:05 p.m., Ch. 13, MASN

Starters: Orioles' Daniel Cabrera (5-2, 4.45) vs. Brewers' Seth McClung (4-3, 3.94)

Astros update

Houston, we have a problem. The Astros have lost five in a row and 14 of 17. They went 2-7 on their homestand, hitting rock bottom on Sunday with a 13-0 loss to the New York Yankees. Afterward, manager Cecil Cooper held a closed-door meeting with his players and told reporters that he doesn't expect a repeat performance the rest of the season. "I was totally embarrassed by this," he said, "and we're not going to settle for it anymore." The Astros have fallen a season-worst 12 games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central. They're 1-5 in interleague play this year, but 88-85 overall. Shortstop Miguel Tejada returns to Baltimore for the first time since the December trade that sent him to the Astros. He's batting .300 with nine homers, 41 RBIs and a .477 slugging percentage. First baseman Lance Berkman might be used as the designated hitter tonight after missing Sunday's game with tightness in his left calf. He batted .200 on the homestand but is hitting .360 this season with 19 homers, 57 RBIs and a .704 slugging percentage.

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