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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, July 1st (All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (43-39) at Houston Astros (30-52), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Matt Moore (10-3, 3.95) Houston - Dallas Keuchel (4-4, 4.34)
(Sports Network) - Left-hander Matt Moore can equal his win total from 2012 on Monday night when the Tampa Bay Rays visit the Houston Astros to begin a four- game series at Minute Maid Park.
The 24-year-old was 11-11 in 31 starts with the Rays last year in his first full season in the major leagues.
He got to win No. 10 this season on June 25 against Toronto in his last start, in which he allowed a single run on four hits while walking six batters and striking out 11 in six innings.
He won his initial eight decisions of this season across nine starts, before a five-start stretch in which he lost three times between May 25-June 14.
Moore is 5-1 in eight road starts this season with a 3.89 earned run average.
He has never faced the Astros.
For Houston, 25-year-old lefty Dallas Keuchel makes his 17th appearance of the season, surpassing his total from his rookie year in 2012.
He began the season winless in his initial eight starts, but then won four times in six starts between May 20-June 16.
He dropped a 3-1 decision to the Chicago Cubs on June 21 at Wrigley Field after allowing three runs in six innings while striking out nine batters.
Keuchel has never faced the Rays.
On Sunday at Tampa Bay, Jose Lobaton went 3-for-3 with two RBI to lead the Rays to a 3-1 win over the Detroit Tigers in the rubber match of a three-game set at Tropicana Field.
Yunel Escobar also had an RBI and Luke Scott went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the Rays, winners in five of their last seven games.
Jeremy Hellickson (7-3) gave up just one run -- a solo homer -- on six hits while striking out six over six-plus frames to pick up his third straight win. Over his last six starts, Hellickson is 5-1 with a 3.57 earned run average.
Fernando Rodney stranded a runner in the ninth to pick up his 17th save of the season.
In Houston, Josh Hamilton's RBI double in the top of the eighth inning snapped a tie game and lifted the resurgent Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to their sixth consecutive victory, a 3-1 decision over the Astros.
Lucas Harrell pitched well for Houston in a no-decision, with Mark Trumbo's solo homer in the fourth the only run permitted in the right-hander's seven- inning stint. Harrell registered seven strikeouts while giving up six hits.
The Astros managed just five hits, with Jake Elmore and Brandon Barnes collecting two apiece.
Tampa Bay swept a three-game series with the Astros in their last set of meetings in 2011. The teams entered this week tied, 6-6, in their all-time series.
07/01 10:20:48 ET
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