Already well on pace to avoid 100-plus losses for the first time in four seasons, the Houston Astros will try to secure their longest road win streak in the past 13.
The Astros will try for a seventh consecutive win away from home by sending the Minnesota Twins to their seventh loss in nine games at Target Field on Saturday.Houston (27-35) earned its 10th win in 13 games with a 5-4 victory in Friday's series opener. George Springer hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to give the Astros enough cushion, and center fielder Dexter Fowler's diving catch in the eighth helped preserve the lead."Hopefully, we get some rest, come back tomorrow with some energy and have fun again," third baseman Matt Dominguez said.Springer has driven in five runs in the last two games since a 2-for-19 slump, and he'll next try to lead Houston to its first seven-game road win streak since June 30-July 24, 2001.The Astros, though, will likely need a better performance from Scott Feldman (3-3, 4.25 ERA) to accomplish that goal. The right-hander was tagged for season highs of nine runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings in Sunday's 9-4 loss to Baltimore.Feldman had a 3.02 ERA in his first eight starts, and pitching on the road might help him bounce back as he's 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA in four outings.Feldman is facing Minnesota (28-31) for the first time since a 6-5 loss for Texas on Aug. 26, 2012. He's 1-2 with a 5.59 ERA in five starts against the Twins.Houston will face an inconsistent Kyle Gibson (4-5, 4.35), but the right-hander has produced some strong outings at Target Field.Gibson is 1-5 with a 5.91 ERA in his last eight starts after going 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA to start the season. He gave up four runs in six innings in Monday's 6-2 loss in Milwaukee after pitching six innings at home while not receiving a decision in a 1-0 loss to Texas on May 28.Gibson is 3-1 with a 1.85 ERA in five outings at Target Field this year, but he gave up four runs and nine hits in three innings there in his lone start against Houston on Aug. 3 before the Twins rallied for a 6-4 victory.Minnesota outfielder Oswaldo Arcia is expected to return to the starting lineup Saturday. He sprained his right ankle Thursday after hitting a grand slam and has two homers and eight RBIs in his last two starts.Arcia flied out in a pinch-hit appearance Friday."It's not as bad as we were led to believe when he first went down out there," manager Ron Gardenhire told the team's official website. "We're lucky he didn't pop it really bad."Houston's Jose Altuve, who went 1 for 4 and drove in a run Friday, is batting .366 while hitting safely in 26 of his last 28 games. He's hit .333 (9 for 27) in six games against the Twins and had an RBI double off Gibson in August.