(Sports Network) - Andy Pettitte goes after win No. 200 in Yankee pinstripes this evening, when New York opens a three-game interleague set with the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium.
For his career Pettitte is 236-136, but 37 of those victories came in Houston, where he pitched from 2004-06. This will be his first-ever start against his former team.
Pettitte is in the midst of a terrific start to this season, as he is 7-1 with a 2.47 eared run average. He has posted quality starts in eight of his first 11 outings while allowing five earned runs over 22 2/3 innings in his past three starts.
The 37-year-old left-hander was denied a win on Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays, though, despite allowing just two runs in 7 2/3 innings of his team's 3-2 extra-inning loss.
Pettitte had a season-high 10 strikeouts in that one and is five shy of matching Ron Guidry's 1,773 for the second-highest total in franchise history.
However, if Pettitte is going to get a win tonight, he may have to do so without three-time American League Most Valuable Player Alex Rodriguez, who left Thursday's loss to Baltimore after the first inning with tightness in his groin.
Rodriguez, whose groin has been bothering him for a little over a week, said there is no pain but he's experiencing a cramping feeling. He will be examined in New York on Friday and possibly undergo an MRI.
"The fact that he doesn't have pain makes me feel a lot better," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "But that doesn't mean that you're completely out of the woods."
Without Rodriguez the Yankees dropped the final test of their three-game set with the Orioles, falling 4-3. Robinson Cano had an RBI double in the loss for New York, which had a 10-game winning streak against Baltimore snapped.
The Yankees, though, have still won eight of their last 11 and return home, where they are 19-7 on the season.
A.J. Burnett (6-4) was charged with the loss on Thursday after he gave up four runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Houston, meanwhile, enters tonight's tilt riding a three-game winning streak after taking the final three matchups of their four-game set with the Colorado Rockies. On Thursday, Humberto Quintero went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and knocked in two runs to help the Astros to a 5-4 win at Coors Field.
Tommy Manzella added a two-run single and finished with three RBI for Houston, which has won eight of 10 overall.
Roy Oswalt (4-8) was sensational over seven innings. The right-hander, who improved to 4-0 in five career starts at Coors Field, gave up two runs on four hits, struck out nine and walked two. Brandon Lyon picked up his first save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
"It's nice anytime you get a little run support to work with. It's real nice," Oswalt said.
Tonight the Astros will turn to right-hander Brett Myers, who is 4-3 with a 3.01 ERA. Myers ran his unbeaten streak to four games Sunday against the Chicago Cubs, holding them to a pair of runs in 6 2/3 innings to get the win.
Over his last four starts, Myers has gone 2-0 and surrendered just five earned runs in 26 2/3 innings while recording 20 strikeouts. He has beaten the Yankees both times he has faced them, pitching to a 3.07 ERA in the process.
New York swept the Astros in a three-game set in Houston in 2008 and is 5-1 all-time against them. Houston's lone win against the Yankees, though, was a combined six-pitcher no-hitter on this date seven years ago in the Bronx.