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McHugh tries to finish off stellar month vs. woeful Rangers

( - Collin McHugh will try to finish off his August undefeated on Thursday night as the Houston Astros open up a four-game series with the Texas Rangers.

McHugh has gone 2-0 with a 1.76 earned run average in five starts this month and had allowed just a single run in each of his first four outings of August before giving up two over 5 1/3 innings of a no-decision at Cleveland on Saturday.

The right-hander was touched for eight hits and gave up a walk in a game his club lost 3-2. And despite lowering his ERA on the year to 3.02 to go along with a 6-9 record, McHugh wasn't happy with his performance afterwards.

"The fastball command wasn't great today and they had eight lefties in the lineup so I knew I'd be cutter-heavy going into it," McHugh told his club's website. "Ideally, you'd like to have a better mix of pitches and I didn't really have my curveball. You battle with what you got, and that's what I had to do."

McHugh, 27, has never faced Texas and will try to keep the Rangers offense in check after it powered its way to a 12-4 win over Seattle on Wednesday.

Rougned Odor hit a grand slam and Leonys Martin added a two-run shot in Texas' third victory in four games.

"Today we didn't miss some of the pitches. We made some good things happen," said Rangers manager Ron Washington. "We executed, we dropped bunts, we hit the long ball, hit a couple of doubles. We just played a solid ballgame."

Houston, though, has its own streaking slugger in Chris Carter, who homered for a third game in a row in Wednesday's 5-4 loss to Oakland in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Carter has driven in six runs over his past three games and his 33 homers on the season are tied for the second most in baseball.

The Astros have lost five of seven and face Rangers right-hander Nick Tepesch tonight. Tepesch is 2-0 with a 3.31 ERA in three career meetings with Houston, while Carter is 1-for-7 with a double and two RBI against him.

The 25-year-old Texas hurler struggled in a loss to Kansas City on Saturday as he gave up six runs on seven hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings.

"I felt like I was all over the place all night," Tepesch said.

Tepesch had logged seven innings in his two previous outings, a pair of no- decisions in which he allowed a total of four runs, but now sits 4-8 with a 4.45 ERA on the year.

Houston has won eight of 12 versus Texas this season.

08/28 10:32:24 ET

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