Astros-Mariners Preview

The Houston Astros' Collin McHugh hasn't lost since July, and he's looking to beat the Seattle Mariners for a third time during his winning streak.

McHugh will try to continue that dominance and become the first Astros pitcher in 13 years to win 10 straight decisions Tuesday night in Seattle.

McHugh (2-0, 1.54 ERA) is 9-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 12 starts since being charged with a loss to Miami on July 27. The right-hander won his seventh straight start Wednesday, collecting 11 strikeouts while yielding one run in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-1 victory over Oakland.

"I had a pretty good breaking ball, which helped getting in two-strike counts," McHugh said. "You throw it down there and see if they chase."

A victory Tuesday would give McHugh the longest winning streak by an Astros pitcher since Wade Miller won 12 decisions in a row from July 7-Sept. 21, 2002.

McHugh's streak already includes yielding four runs in 14 innings while winning two meetings with the Mariners (5-8). He was terrific at Seattle on Sept. 9, allowing one hit over seven scoreless innings before giving up a solo homer to Logan Morrison and leaving after the eighth in a 2-1 win.

That's the only run he's allowed in 14 2-3 innings over two games - both wins - at Safeco Field.

This time, however, McHugh will try to quiet Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager.

Cruz leads the majors with eight homers and 16 RBIs, and he's collected all of those while batting .474 during a nine-game hitting streak. Cano has a seven-game streak, during which he's hitting .448 while Seager is 7 for 11 with two doubles and four RBIs in three games.

''Cruz has been doing it from the get-go so thankfully me and Robbie are starting to get going,'' Seager said. ''The impact of Cruz is huge. You can't pitch around Robbie and you have to be real careful with him.''

Those three, however, are a combined 4 for 31 against McHugh, who has held Seager hitless in 13 at-bats with six strikeouts.

The middle of Seattle's order went 6 for 12 with four doubles and three RBIs on Monday, but was upstaged by Houston's Luis Valbuena's two homers and three RBIs as the Astros (7-6) won 7-5 in the series opener.

Valbuena is hitting .308 with five homers and seven RBIs in the last seven games.

The Mariners, who have dropped four of the last six at home, are giving the ball to Taijuan Walker (0-2, 17.18). The 22-year-old right-hander is considered one of the top young arms in baseball, but he's been hammered through two starts, surrendering 14 runs with six walks in 7 1-3 innings.

He struggled early Wednesday, giving up three runs in the first inning before allowing two more and being yanked after the fourth of a 5-2 road defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"His velocity was fine. He's just got to control the strike zone a little better," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We've got to get better efforts from our starters. We've got to get deeper into ballgames. We've got a real good bullpen, but they won't be worth a darn if we keep running them out there."

Walker may feel rather comfortable facing the Astros since all three of his career wins have come against them. He has a 2.91 ERA with 23 strikeouts over 21 2-3 innings in those four contests.

Walker, though, has struggled with Jose Altuve, who is 5 for 10 with two doubles off him.

Altuve was 0 for 4 Monday, ending a nine-game hitting streak during which he had a .385 average.

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