Orioles-Astros Preview

JORDAN GARRETSON (STATS Writer)
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Brett Oberholtzer hopes the second time is the charm, at least, in terms of returns from the same injury this season. The Houston Astros hope for no setbacks as Oberholtzer makes his second start of the season Monday night against the visiting Baltimore Orioles. Oberholtzer (0-0, 3.00 ERA) comes off the disabled list for a second time. He initially suffered a blister on his left index finger, then re-aggravated the injury in his season debut on May 13. He gave up a run in a 4-3 win against San Francisco, leaving after three innings. The left-hander allowed one earned run over 4 2-3 innings in a 6-1 loss for Triple-A Fresno on Wednesday and said he felt fine after a Friday bullpen session. "He hasn't had any problems," manager A.J. Hinch told MLB's official website. "We were going to have him make another start in the minor leagues, but it didn't pan out that way. It will be nice to have him back." Oberholtzer's earlier-than-expected return to the rotation is due to the loss of Scott Feldman, who is expected to miss six weeks after he underwent knee surgery Friday. He won both previous starts versus Baltimore, yielding one run and seven hits over 14 innings. Houston (31-20) could use a strong start from Oberholtzer given its recent offensive struggles. The Astros lost 6-0 to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday and have totaled 17 runs while going 10 for 56 (.179) with runners in scoring position during a 2-4 stretch. Evan Gattis is 13 for 28 with eight extra-base hits in his last seven games, but 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position with five strikeouts in that span. Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 3.14 ERA) faces the Astros for the second time in less than a week. He gave up four runs and a season-high 10 hits over seven innings in a 5-4 victory on Wednesday, not recording a decision. Gattis hit a two-run homer against him. Jimenez is 4-0 with a 2.56 ERA in 10 career starts versus Houston, but hasn't gotten a decision since 2012. Colby Rasmus was 3 for 4 off him and is 13 for 31 (.419) lifetime against the right-hander with eight extra-base hits, including six doubles. Baltimore (23-26) is hoping to get Adam Jones back after he sat out for the second straight game in Sunday's 9-5 loss to Tampa Bay. He sprained his left ankle sliding into home Thursday against the Chicago White Sox, though MRI results were encouraging. "Nothing structurally, in pretty good shape there," manager Buck Showalter told MLB's official website. Showalter said he might use Jones as designated hitter if it means a quicker return. Jones has hit .217 over his last 17 games, dropping his season average from .357 to .304. He's 15 for 71 (.211) in 19 games against the Astros and 1 for 6 off Oberholtzer. Baltimore could use Jones' bat, considering it totaled seven runs in dropping two of three to the Rays, and six of those runs came on homers. "We've got to keep swinging the bats," said Manny Machado, who homered twice Sunday after going 2 for 23 in his previous six. " ... We've just got to keep swinging the bats and at the end of the day, it's all about the 'W.'" Also slumping for the Orioles is Jimmy Paredes, who has gone 1 for 20 with 11 strikeouts to drop his average from .353 to .314. This marks Baltimore's first game outside of the Eastern time zone.