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Preview: Rangers (78-84) at Astros (101-61)
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Game: 2
Venue: Minute Maid Park
Date: May 13, 2014 8:10 PM EDT

It appears all the Texas Rangers needed was a visit to Houston.

The Rangers go for an 11th consecutive road win over the Astros as these in-state foes continue a three-game set Tuesday night.

Texas (20-19) has beat up on Houston (12-27) over the years, going 39-8 in the series since 2009. The Rangers have been especially good at Minute Maid Park, where they've won 20 of 23, including 10 in a row by a 61-27 margin.

The Rangers had posted a .241 average during a 4-10 stretch before collecting 10 hits in Monday's series-opening 4-0 victory. Adrian Beltre went 2 for 5 with a two-run homer and Rougned Odor added a solo shot in just his fifth game since getting called up from Double-A Frisco.


Beltre has feasted on Astros pitching, going 28 for 68 (.412) with seven homers, seven doubles and 17 RBIs during an 18-game stretch in the series.

"It's always nice to help your ballclub win games," Beltre said after snapping an 0 for 11 slump. "I know that I need to be doing that more often and hopefully that'll be the start of something better."

The Rangers now turn to Matt Harrison (1-0, 2.87 ERA), who combined with four relievers on a five-hitter in Thursday's 5-0 win over Colorado. The left-hander, who debuted April 27 after missing over a year with a back injury, earned his first victory since September 2012.

"There's still room for improvement, but it's getting better every time," he told MLB's official website. "I've got to keep working. Hopefully there is more there than the last time. I'm still tinkering, but I'm getting closer to where I want to be. I'm still trying to get everything back into rhythm."

While he's held his own thus far, Harrison is 0-2 with a 7.02 ERA in three starts against the Astros - the only AL team he's yet to beat.

"It's something to shoot for, I guess," Harrison said. "As long as we win the game, that's all that matters. But I'd like to pitch deep in the game, give the bullpen a break and do my job."

Losers in eight of 10 overall, the Astros have dropped five of six at home despite collecting 11 hits in four consecutive games there. Jose Altuve had three for the second time in as many days while Matt Dominguez and George Springer both went 2 for 4.

The Astros will try to bounce back behind Dallas Keuchel (3-2, 3.68), who allowed two runs over a season-high 7 2-3 innings in Thursday's 6-2 victory at Detroit.

"He's a very smart pitcher and he's a bulldog, and we couldn't do anything with him," said losing pitcher Drew Smyly, who was Keuchel's college roommate at Arkansas. "That's as good as I've seen him, and you have to tip your hat."

The left-hander has posted a 2.18 ERA in winning each of his three road starts, but he's 0-2 with a 5.01 ERA at home. He's also had a rough time against the Rangers, going 0-2 with a 4.75 ERA.

"Like any lineup, there's guys that can beat you with one swing," Keuchel said. "They're one of the teams that I kind of look over some more video than I usually do just because they have such power. I'm just going to attack the zone and work offspeed from there."

Beltre went 4 for 12 with two doubles against Keuchel last year. Keuchel will also need to be wary of Prince Fielder, who is batting .426 with six homers, four doubles and 18 RBIs in his last 14 games in Houston.

"It's no secret, "Fielder said. "I just hit the ball hard here."

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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