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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, August 31 (All times Eastern)

Texas Rangers (53-82) at Houston Astros (58-79), 2:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Nick Martinez (3-10, 5.31) Houston - Dallas Keuchel (10-9, 3.05)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Astros go for a series win over the Texas Rangers when this four-game Lone Star State set comes to a close Sunday.

The Astros have won two of the first three meetings between the teams and took Saturday's game by a 2-0 score thanks to Scott Feldman's three-hit shutout. Feldman struck out five and walked one batter. He threw 115 pitches, two short of his season high.

"I've been feeling better and better as the season's gone on, kind of just hope to keep that going the rest of the year," Feldman said.

Feldman retired the first 13 batters he faced until Ryan Rua connected with a one-out single in the fifth.

"That is as good as I've seen him pitch," Houston manager Bo Porter said.

Jake Marisnick knocked in a run during a two-run seventh that gave Feldman all the runs he needed.

With the win, Houston clinched the Silver Boot against Texas for the first time since 2006 and is 10-5 in the season series. The Astros were only 2-17 against the Rangers last season.

The Astros have alternated results over the past six games on this nine-game homestand and will host the LA Angels next for two games.

Dallas Keuchel draws the start for the 'Stros on Sunday and is 10-9 with a 3.05 earned run average. He is winless (0-2) in his last five appearances and did not record a decision in Tuesday's 4-2 win over Oakland, as he permitted only two runs -- one earned -- and five hits in seven innings.

Keuchel is 1-4 in his last five decisions and has a 3-5 mark in 11 home starts this season. In eight career starts against the Rangers, Keuchel is 2-3 with a 4.33 ERA. He lost to Texas on Aug. 10, when he permitted five runs in six innings of a 6-2 loss.

Texas has rotated wins and losses through the first six games of its 10-game road trip and Phil Klein was dealt the loss Saturday for allowing both runs in the seventh inning. Robbie Ross Jr. threw five scoreless innings of no-hit ball in the start, striking out five and walking three on 70 pitches.

"It was all about Robbie Ross and protecting him," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I thought he was outstanding. He had given us 70 quality pitches and we were expecting 60. That was enough."

Leonys Martin, Rua and Rougned Odor provided the hits for the Rangers, who will visit Kansas City next for three games.

Nick Martinez gets the start for Texas Sunday and is 3-10 with a 5.31 earned run average. Martinez has alternated wins and losses over his previous five outings and allowed all five runs in five innings of a 5-0 loss at Seattle on Tuesday.

Martinez has faced the Astros three times (1 start) in his career, going 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA.

08/31 10:23:16 ET