Jose Altuve and Dexter Fowler have formed a red-hot duo at the top of the Houston Astros' order to spark the club's recent surge.
Though Bronson Arroyo has struggled recently, his mastery of the Astros - and Altuve and Fowler - suggests he might be able to slow Houston down as he takes the mound Tuesday for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Altuve, batting second, and Fowler, the leadoff man, each had three hits in Monday's 4-3 win at Arizona, the 12th victory in 16 games for the Astros (29-36). Altuve is batting .378 over his last 29 games and hit safely in eight straight, while Fowler is 14 for 26 during a seven-game hitting streak with eight runs scored.
"(We're going to) try to keep doing what we're doing," Altuve told the team's official website. "Playing hard every day, giving 100 percent."
Neither has had much success against Arroyo (5-4, 4.50 ERA) - Altuve is 0 for 10 and Fowler 2 for 14.
Arroyo, though, has allowed four or more runs in three of his last four outings. He won his last time out, due in large part to a season high-matching seven runs of support as he yielded four runs over 6 1-3 innings in Thursday's 12-7 victory at Colorado.
Facing the Astros may help him get back on track, as he's 9-1 with a 2.05 ERA and three complete games in his last 12 matchups. Those nine wins since Aug. 26, 2008, are the second-most versus Houston in that span, trailing only the 11 by Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo, who has faced the Astros three more times.
Houston starter Brad Peacock (2-4, 4.82) has won two of his last three outings while limiting opponents to four runs in 17 2-3 innings. The Astros - who are averaging 5.1 runs with a major league-leading .355 on-base percentage during their 12-4 stretch - finished with eight runs in both of those victories.
Peacock's focus isn't necessarily linked to the team's overall success, however.
"The starters try to follow up on one another and try to compete with each other," he told the team's official website. "But I'm just going to try to go out there and locate pitches and do my job."
The right-hander has only walked one batter in his last two starts after previously averaging 6.0 walks per nine innings on the season.
Peacock has never faced Arizona (28-38) and received a no-decision in his only career interleague start, allowing three earned runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 6-5 loss to Cincinnati on Sept. 18.
Miguel Montero is 12 for 27 with 10 RBIs over his last seven games for Arizona, while Paul Goldschmidt's fourth-inning double ended his 0-for-25 slump in interleague play.
Astros rookie George Springer is day to day after being scratched from Monday's lineup with right knee soreness. He's homered 12 times over his last 28 games with 29 RBIs.
Monday's victory marked the Astros' first against the Diamondbacks since Aug. 8, 2011, and ended a nine-game losing streak in the series.
These teams will head to Houston for two more meetings Wednesday and Thursday.