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STL@PIT: Wandy fans three over six scoreless innings

The Astros got their first look at former Houston pitcher Wandy Rodriguez in a Pirates uniform on July 28 at Minute Maid Park.

On Tuesday, Houston will get to see Rodriguez amid all the yellow and black at PNC Park. After winning on Monday, 5-1, the Astros will be looking to win consecutive games on the road against the same team for the first time this season.

The Pirates have dropped four straight and need a strong effort from Rodriguez to avoid falling further back in the National League Wild Card race.

Rodriguez held his former teammates to three runs over six innings on July 28, striking out five and walking a season-high five. He had his best start in a Pirates uniform last time out, allowing no runs and three hits over six innings against the Cardinals.

The win was Rodriguez's first as a starter with the Pirates -- he earned a victory after pitching two innings in the Pirates' 19-inning affair with the Cardinals on Aug. 19.

Jordan Lyles, 21, gets the ball for the Astros on Tuesday. The right-hander has been inconsistent this season but has posted a 3.27 ERA over his last two outings.

The fifth inning has been Lyles' problem for most of the season. His ERA in the fifth stands at 16.20 through 20 starts. Against the Giants on Thursday, Lyles allowed three runs in the fifth.

"I just have to bounce back from it and learn from my mistakes," Lyles said after the start. "Somehow when the offense does a good job like they did tonight and the defense plays as well as they did, you have to learn how to manage the game and not give up three or four runs."

Against the Pirates on July 27, Lyles allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings. The Pirates hit him hard on July 2, plating seven runs over four innings.

Lyles has spent the majority of the season as the youngest starting pitcher in the National League.

Astros: Four players to join team Tuesday
The Astros called up catcher Carlos Corporan, outfielder J.D. Martinez, right-handed reliever Chuckie Fick and left-handed starter Dallas Keuchel from Triple-A Oklahoma City following Monday's game.

"It's more depth in the bullpen and some extra position players we need," interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said.

The players will join the team before Tuesday's game. All four have played with the Astros this season.

"The tough part of all these guys coming up is it's hard for me to get them in games, so we'll be seeing a lot of double-switching, some pinch-hitting earlier in games if we have to," DeFrancesco said. "There's only eight slots [for position players in the starting lineup] and a ton of players who want that playing time. We're going to prioritize some of our playing time for some of our younger players."

Pirates: Walker could return by this weekend
Second baseman Neil Walker has been cleared to resume baseball activities one week after starting to feel the effects of lower-back tightness. Manager Clint Hurdles said he hopes Walker can return to the lineup by this weekend.

On Monday, Walker was set to play some catch and swing the bat in the indoor cage, as well as do some running with agility drills. If everything goes well, Walker would start taking some ground balls on Tuesday.

The Pirates have alternated Josh Harrison and Brock Holt at second base. In his second straight start on Monday, Holt went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts from the leadoff position.

Worth noting
• The Pirates need one more win at PNC Park to clinch their second winning season in the park's 12-year history. Pittsburgh finished 43-38 at home in 2006.

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