Rangers' Miller faces Astros seeking first win since 2017

Field Level Media

The Texas Rangers will try to win a three-game series against the Houston Astros for the second time this season when they meet on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.

The Rangers won 9-4 on Saturday night to even the series against the 2017 World Series champions. Texas also won two-of-three against visiting Houston April 1-3.

"You're always measuring yourself against the best,'' Rangers manager Chris Woodward told reporters before the win on Saturday. "We give (the Astros) a ton of credit for how good of a team they have, but we can execute and beat them.''

The Rangers will send Shelby Miller to the mound in their bid to win the series.

Miller (0-1, 9.00) is looking for his first win since April 18, 2017. He has been limited in his first three starts after undergoing elbow surgery in 2017, combining for just 10 innings.

Miller faced Houston on April 2 and allowed two runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings of a 6-4 win. He has made three appearances in his career against Houston overall, including two starts, and is 0-0 with a 4.66 ERA.

Astros outfielder Josh Reddick is 6-for-7 off Miller in his career.

Miller's past two starts have come against the Los Angeles Angels. He gave up four runs and four hits in two innings on April 7 and took the loss in the 7-2 defeat. On Monday, he pitched into the fifth inning for the first time and allowed four runs and four hits, but wasn't eligible for the win in the 12-7 victory.

The Angels scored four runs in the second inning against Miller in their first meeting, and three in the first inning of their second matchup.

"I need to hone in a little bit more when I'm in the game and avoid those big innings," Miller told reporters after his last start.

Miller has three strikeouts and 11 walks this season.

Collin McHugh (3-1, 1.96), who made all 58 of his appearances out of bullpen for the Astros last season, has settled in nicely in his return to a starting role. He will try to win four straight starts for the first time since winning his last five in 2014.

McHugh hasn't faced the Rangers this season, but has pitched well against them in his career, owning 6-1 mark with a 3.81 ERA.

He'll need to find an answer for Texas second baseman Danny Santana, who is 6-for-12 in his career against McHugh with a home run.

Santana went 3-for-5 with an RBI and run scored against the Astros on Saturday night.

The Astros have won 13 of their first 20 games, the same pace they started on last season when they lost in the AL Championship Series, and one game behind their 14-6 start in 2017.

They have won 11 of 13 since a 2-5 start, and Astros manager AJ Hinch is confident his team is headed in the right direction.

"There should not have been a lot of doubt out here that we were going to start to win more games at a better rate,'' Hinch said.

--Field Level Media

What to Read Next