Lowry Gets Start

San Francisco starter Noah Lowry thinks he'll be better prepared for rookie phenom Hunter Pence this time around.

Lowry will look to keep Houston's young center fielder in check Monday when the Giants open a three-game home series with the Astros.

Oddsmakers have made San Francisco -140 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 8.5 total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 67% of bets for this game have been placed on San Francisco -140 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Since making his major league debut on April 28, Pence is hitting .364 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 20 games. He is also batting .586 (17-for-29) with three home runs during an eight-game hitting streak.

Pence went 8-for-11 with two homers last week in a three-game series against the Giants (21-22) in Houston, including hits in all seven of his at-bats to help the Astros win the first two games. He went 4-for-4 with a solo homer off Lowry in Wednesday's 2-1 victory.

"There's not a ton (of information) out on him right now," Lowry told the Giants' official Web site. "He's still new to the league. Obviously, fastballs were not working for me. And he hit a changeup out."

Lowry (4-4, 3.04 ERA) pitched an eight-inning complete game and gave up eight total hits in his first-ever appearance in Houston. He fell to 3-1 with a 1.45 ERA against the Astros - still his lowest ERA against any NL opponent.

"We play them again at home in five days," said Lowry, who has lost his last two starts despite giving up just four earned runs in 15 innings. "I'm going to have some different things to do. I'm not going to tell you guys what it is. But I'll have a better time then."

Lowry will square off once again against Astros rookie Chris Sampson (4-3, 3.56), who gave up one run in six innings Wednesday to earn the win one day after the birth of his first child. The right-hander has given up three runs or fewer in each of his last four starts.

The Giants are returning home after a 4-6 road trip. They beat Bay Area rival Oakland 4-1 on Sunday to avoid a three-game interleague sweep.

Randy Winn went 3-for-5 with a homer to extend his hitting streak to 19 games - the longest by a Giants player since Robby Thompson's 21-game run in 1993. However, Barry Bonds went 0-for-4 with a walk and remained 10 homers shy of Hank Aaron's career record of 755.

The 42-year-old left fielder went 5-for-27 (.185) with no homers or RBIs on the trip, and has not homered in his last 10 games since connecting on May 8.

Bonds went 0-for-2 with a strikeout against Sampson on Wednesday.

First baseman Rich Aurilia returned to the Giants lineup after missing four games with a stiff neck and hit his second home run of the season. Second baseman Ray Durham, who is nursing a sore groin, missed his third straight game but is expected to return Monday.

The Astros (21-22) have dropped three of four, including Sunday's embarrassing 14-1 loss to Texas. Houston gave up six homers, its most since May 21, 2005, when the Rangers hit eight against Astros pitching.

Pence went 2-for-4 with a triple and scored Houston's lone run.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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