Oswalt extends team mark with start

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Roy Oswalt will be the Houston Astros' Opening Day starter for the eighth consecutive year, extending his club record when Houston opens its season against the San Francisco Giants on April 5 at Minute Maid Park.

"I know it's kind of a foregone conclusion for everyone, but we're making it official," Houston manager Brad Mills said Saturday morning before his team played the New York Yankees at Osceola County Stadium. "He's throwing the ball so well all spring long.

"He's been healthy. He's gone about his business the way a No. 1 should and he's throwing the ball like a No. 1 should. Each time he goes out there it seems to be icing on the cake."

Oswalt hasn't allowed a run in two starts and 6 innings of work this spring. He's coming off his only single-digit win season and failed to reach 200 innings pitched for the first time since an injury-plagued 2003.

Oswalt went 8-6 with a 4.12 ERA in 181 1/3 innings in 2009. He posted a 1.24 WHIP and struck out 138.

He has been with Houston his entire career, coming up in 2001 after being drafted by the Astros in the 23rd round of the 1996 amateur draft. He has 137 wins, including 20-win campaigns in 2004 and 2005. He was the NLCS MVP in 2005 and helped the franchise reach its first World Series that postseason.

Mills also announced that Wandy Rodriguez would start the second game of the series against the Giants.

Mike Scott, Shane Reynolds and J.R. Richard all started five straight Opening Days for Houston.