MLB

Mariners-Astros Preview

Terrific performances on the mound have spurred the Houston Astros' recent dominance at Minute Maid Park. Scott Feldman is looking for the offense to balance things out.

Feldman attempts to continue his strong stretch Tuesday night and help the Astros to their 10th win in 11 home meetings with the Seattle Mariners.

Houston (73-59), which leads the AL West by 3 1/2 games over Texas, has won 22 of its last 27 home games behind the starting rotation's 2.37 ERA - a mark that plummets to 1.62 over its current 6-1 stretch at home.

Astros ace Dallas Keuchel turned in the latest dazzling effort Monday, yielding one run with eight strikeouts in seven innings of an 8-3 victory over the Mariners (61-71).

The offensive output was Houston's best in its last seven at home. The bats have come through in the previous nine there against Seattle, hitting .314 with 26 homers while averaging 7.5 runs.

Feldman (5-5, 3.75 ERA) would surely prefer that it continues. He's compiled a 2.36 ERA in seven starts after missing almost eight weeks recovering from knee surgery. However, he's been backed by eight total runs, resulting in a 1-1 record in that stretch.

The right-hander has received two runs of support during his past three outings, going 1-0 while allowing two runs in 21 innings.

Feldman's longest outing was wasted in a 1-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Aug. 24. He matched Nathan Eovaldi's eight scoreless innings in a pitchers' duel.

"He's been exceptional," manager A.J. Hinch told MLB's official website. "His tempo, his rhythm, his pitches. He's finishing pitches much better than at the beginning of the season ... He's been conservative with his pitches, he's just been very effective. That type of starting pitching is what we've seen out of the whole group, especially him."

Feldman is 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA over his last five starts against Seattle. However, he had his best performance of that stretch at home April 30, yielding two runs in seven innings of a 3-2 win in 10.

Carlos Correa had one of Houston's three homers Monday, connecting for a two-run blast and adding a single after missing the previous four games with a hamstring injury.

"He's a big presence for us; obviously he came up big," Hinch said of the rookie shortstop. "He's very much in the middle of everything that we do."

Correa, though, is batting .200 in seven games against Seattle.

The Mariners are looking for Roenis Elias (4-7, 4.20) to improve after giving up four runs - three earned - and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. It was his first start since being demoted to Triple-A Tacoma one day after losing at Oakland on July 2.

"This kid is a competitor," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He loves to compete and he won't be afraid of the stage. If his stuff is on, if he's throwing strikes with all four of his pitches, he's going to be a bear out there."

The second-year left-hander is 1-2 with a 6.61 ERA in three starts against Houston this year. However, he was terrific in the most recent June 19 with a career high-tying 10 strikeouts while yielding a pair of solo homers in seven innings of a 5-2 home win.

Robinson Cano is hitting .390 in 19 games after going 7 for 12 in the past three. He's 8 for 22 against Feldman.

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