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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, August 10 (All times Eastern)
Texas Rangers (45-71) at Houston Astros (49-68), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Nick Martinez (1-8, 5.31) Houston - Dallas Keuchel (10-7, 2.89)
(SportsNetwork.com) - A Lone Star State series wraps up at Minute Maid Park on Sunday afternoon, as the Houston Astros try for a sweep over the Texas Rangers.
The Astros enjoyed an offensive outburst on Saturday night on their way to an 8-3 victory.
The big blow came in a four-run fifth-inning, punctuated by a two-run double off the bat of Jon Singleton, who finished the night 2-for-3 with three RBI and two walks.
"We were relentless," Singleton said. "We made (Yu Darvish) throw a lot of pitches, and when he did make mistakes we capitalized on them."
Chris Carter, Jason Castro, Matt Dominguez and Jake Marisnick also had two hits apiece.
The run support was plenty for Scott Feldman (6-8) to work with, as he tossed 6 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs while striking out six.
Darvish (10-7) was not sharp for the Rangers, scattering nine hits and six runs (five earned) in just four innings.
Shin-Soo Choo went 4-for-5 out of the leadoff spot. Jim Adduci belted his first-career home run in the sixth inning.
The Rangers will send a rookie to the hill on Sunday to try and salvage the series. Nick Martinez's first season has not been a memorable one, as he's a lowly 1-8 with a 5.31 ERA through 19 appearances (14 starts).
Martinez's losing streak extended to seven his last time out, when he allowed eight hits and five earned runs in five innings against the White Sox on Aug. 4. He's now allowed five or more runs in three of his last four starts.
The 24-year-old righty has at least pitched respectably on the road (4.13 ERA), whereas he's been dreadful at home (7.86).
Houston will answer with Dallas Keuchel, who's been one of the team's bright spots this season with a 10-7 record and a 2.89 ERA.
Since a mid-season hiccup in which he allowed at least four earned runs in five straight starts, Keuchel has rebounded in recent weeks by allowing only two runs in his last 23 innings. He was strong in a no-decision against the Phillies on Aug. 5, yielding five hits, a walk and an earned run in seven innings of work.
The 26-year-old southpaw is below .500 at Minute Maid Park on the year (3-4) despite boasting a 2.60 ERA.
The 'Stros are 8-3 against Texas this season and have won seven straight in this series.
08/10 10:45:25 ET