Astros-Indians Preview

The Associated Press

Having halted their struggles against the Cleveland Indians, the Houston Astros can set their sights on securing a winning road trip.

The Astros attempt to do so while Collin McHugh tries to win a third straight start Saturday night.

Houston (55-74) totaled 15 runs during a six-game slide against Cleveland that ended with Friday's 5-1 victory. Rookie Jon Singleton's three-run homer highlighted a four-run ninth inning where the Astros capitalized on two errors.

''It's huge, that's what winning ballclubs do,'' said Singleton, who is batting .187 in 70 games but has 12 home runs and 40 RBIs.

''When teams are making small mistakes like that, other teams capitalize and come out with the win.''

By also snapping a six-game losing streak at Progressive Field, the Astros have won four of five and improved to 5-3 on a trip where they split four against Boston then took two of three from the Yankees.

McHugh (6-9, 3.00 ERA) has allowed one run in each of his last four starts, going 2-0 while striking out 22 over 25 1-3 innings. The right-hander overcame seven hits and four walks in six innings of an 8-1 victory over the Red Sox on Sunday.

"Results are great, but I think it's obviously still a work in progress," McHugh told MLB's official website. "Every day you're coming to the park and trying to get a little bit better."

He'll make his first appearance against the Indians (64-63), who have recorded one run and five hits in each game during back-to-back losses after winning seven of nine.

The Indians lead the majors with 99 errors after committing 98 when they made the playoffs in 2013.

''If we want to stay in this thing, we're going to have to play a lot cleaner,'' manager Terry Francona said. ''Losing is one thing, but losing like that is another. Obviously, we need to do better. We can't play like that and expect to win.''

Zach Walters has provided the scoring in the last two with a pair of homers, and he also went deep in Wednesday's 5-0 win at Minnesota. Half of Walters' 16 hits in 75 at-bats over 42 games with Washington and Cleveland this season have left the park, and are all solo shots.

"You see him here and you can see why he's hitting the ball out of the ballpark," Francona said. "He's taking a lot of good swings."

Indians All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley, meanwhile, is 2 for 26 in the last seven games.

Cleveland's Danny Salazar (4-6, 4.79) was recalled Sunday to start against Baltimore and allowed two runs in five innings of a 4-1 loss.

The right-hander made progress from his previous outing Aug 6, when he yielded five runs on two homers in four innings of an 8-3 defeat at Cincinnati.

Facing the Astros for the first time, Salazar hopes to add to All-Star Jose Altuve's struggles at Progressive Field, where he's 2 for 18 in five career games.

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