Twins-Astros Preview


The Houston Astros announced Tuesday that rookie slugger George Springer would miss at least two more weeks.

Chris Carter has done his best lately to make up for his absence and will next try to give Brett Oberholtzer enough support for a career-high third straight win in Wednesday's finale against the Minnesota Twins.

Springer hasn't played since July 19 because of a strained quad and aggravated the injury during a rehab assignment. The outfielder remains second on the team with 20 homers in his first 78 games.

The Astros hit their way to a 10-4 win after learning that news, and Chris Carter had two home runs while matching a career high with five RBIs. Carter has six of his 28 homers in the last six games and a major league-best 15 since July 1.

His sixth multihomer game this season tied Lance Berkman's franchise mark set in 2006.

"He had it in spurts last year," manager Bo Porter said of Carter, who had a career-high 29 homers in 148 games last season. "So you would say to yourself, 'At some point, when it all comes together and everything clicks and we start to get consistency to this, it can be scary.' And that's what we're seeing right now."

Houston (50-70) finished with 12 hits in Tuesday's win after totaling 15 and scoring four runs in back-to-back losses, including a 4-2 defeat in Monday's series opener.

Oberholtzer (4-7, 4.05 ERA) hasn't needed too much support lately but didn't get enough to earn his third win in as many starts Friday. He gave up two runs in seven innings against Texas but only avoided a loss when his teammates scored three runs in the eighth in a 4-3 victory.

Oberholtzer is 2-0 with a 2.91 ERA in his last five starts and will make his first against Minnesota (53-65).

"This guy's made right," Porter told MLB's official website. "From a mentality standpoint, he's confident, he trusts his stuff and I think that's why he's getting the results he wants… I love his makeup, I love his tenacity out there."

Kyle Gibson, meanwhile, will try to bounce back from a poor outing and his first loss in three starts. The Twins right-hander was charged with six runs and a career-worst five walks in five innings in a 6-5 defeat to Oakland on Friday.

"It's embarrassing to go out there and pitch five innings and walk that many guys," Gibson told MLB's official website. "It's unacceptable."

Gibson (10-8, 4.13) allowed three runs, eight hits and two walks in 14 innings in his back-to-back victories. He pitched seven innings in an 8-0 win against Houston on June 7, his lone matchup this season.

Gibson yielded three hits and three walks in that game, and Dexter Fowler had two of those hits. Fowler is expected to return from the disabled list (intercostal strain) Wednesday.

Minnesota's Joe Mauer will seek to extend his hit streak to 15 games, one shy of matching a career high set in August 2008. Mauer's 14-game run is the longest by a Twins hitter this season.