The Houston Astros have an opportunity to tie and break their franchise record for consecutive victories in one day.
Their game at Detroit on Friday was postponed due to inclement weather. The Astros and Tigers will try to play a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, though there’s more rain in the forecast.
The Astros notched their 11th straight win in the opener of the four-game series on Thursday with a 12-3 romp. The Astros have won 12 consecutive games three times over the years during the 1999, 2004 and 2018 seasons.
Houston has reached double digits in runs five times during the streak.
“We’re not quite the Big Red Machine, but maybe we’re the Orange Wagon or something,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We’re approaching some historical numbers and figures as far as hitting is concerned.”
The Astros have scored 25 runs in the last two games. They bombarded the Tigers’ staff with 18 hits in the series opener.
“It’s hard to describe, because we’re supporting each other and we believe in each other,” catcher Martin Maldonado said. “Everybody is getting good at-bats and passing the baton to the next guy.”
Left-hander Framber Valdez (4-0, 1.67 ERA) is scheduled to start the first game on Saturday. He has won all four of his outings this month while going at least seven innings in each game. In his last start on Saturday, Valdez limited the Chicago White Sox to two earned runs and six hits in seven innings while striking out five.
“For me right now it’s just a matter of maintaining where I’m at, attacking every hitter, being in the strike zone a lot,” Valdez said.
Valdez has given up four earned runs in five innings during his two career outings against Detroit.
Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1, 2.90 ERA) is expected to pitch the nightcap for Houston. The Tigers handed McCullers his lone loss on April 14, scoring six runs during his 3 2/3 innings stint. McCullers won his last start, holding the White Sox to two runs on two hits in six innings on Sunday.
Casey Mize (4-4, 3.61 ERA) is expected to oppose Valdez in the opener. Mize recorded his first major-league win against the Astros on April 12 by tossing seven scoreless innings. In his last start, Mize got a no-decision while allowing three runs on eight hits in five innings to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
Wily Peralta (0-1, 7.11 ERA) is Detroit’s scheduled starter in the nightcap. He’ll be making his second major league start since 2017. The 32-year-old right-hander allowed five runs, two earned, in five innings to the Angels on Saturday.
Peralta, who sat out last season after making 79 relief appearances for Kansas City the previous two years, has temporarily joined the rotation with Matthew Boyd and Spencer Turnbull on the injured list.
“It didn’t go the way that I wanted,” he said of his start in Anaheim. “I want to perform better. It’s just one start. I feel very confident I’ll be better for the next one.”
Detroit’s staff is in tatters. Along with the Tigers being down two starters, Jose Urena has been hit hard throughout the month, including Thursday’s opener.
“We’re just trying to get to the finish line of the All-Star break,” manager A.J. Hinch said.
–Field Level Media