The Texas Rangers' starting rotation has been the best in the AL, and the consistency of Colby Lewis is paving the way.
The veteran will look to continue that success Wednesday in the conclusion of a three-game series with the visiting Los Angeles Angels.
The Rangers lead the AL with a 3.29 ERA that is third in baseball behind the Chicago Cubs and Washington.
Lewis (3-0, 2.75 ERA) has gone at seven innings in five straight starts and made it through six in all nine of his outings while allowing four runs once. He might be coming off the best outing of the bunch after giving up four hits without a walk in seven scoreless innings of Friday's 2-1 win in Houston.
"He does a really good job of pounding the strike zone," Astros manager A.J. Hinch told MLB's official website. "There's a lot of first-pitch strikes, he can throw a couple of different styles of breaking balls and never really makes a mistakes against us. We just couldn't generate any offense against him."
The first of those seven-inning starts was his second win of the year and it came in a 4-2 home final against the Angels on April 29. Lewis allowed two runs and nine hits in seven innings for his best outing of a dismal stretch in the series that dates to the start of 2014. In his last 11 starts in the series, the right-hander is 3-7 with an 8.28 ERA.
In that time, Johnny Giavotella (5 for 11), Mike Trout (12 for 28 with four home runs, a triple and a double), Kole Calhoun (12 for 31 with a home run, triple and two doubles) and Albert Pujols (9 for 27 with three home runs and a double) have all pounded him.
Lewis faces Hector Santiago, who followed his best outing of the season with his worst. Santiago (3-2, 3.93) limited Seattle to two hits in eight innings of a 3-0 win on May 15, then gave up four runs and four hits with three home runs and three walks in 2 2/3 innings of Friday's 9-4 home loss to Baltimore.
The left-hander emerged with a no-decision after being ejected for apparently arguing balls and strikes on a few close pitches didn't go his way. He maintained that wasn't his intent.
"Our bullpen was backing us, but it (was wrong) on my part for reacting in that situation, but I don't think it should have escalated that fast and I don't think I did something to get ejected," Santiago said. "I could have held my peace a little more, but I don't think I did anything to get myself ejected right there."
Santiago is 6-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 15 career starts against the Rangers, though he's given up seven runs in 11 2/3 innings of two outings this season.
Rougned Odor has hit him best at 10 for 21 with a home run and three doubles, but Elvis Andrus is 5 for 31.
The Rangers (26-20) opened the series with Tuesday's 4-1 win as Nomar Mazara went 3 for 3 with a two-run homer to get to 9 for 23 with three home runs and six RBIs in his last six games. Ian Desmond remained hot with a 3-for-4 night and is 7 for 13 in his last three games.
The Angels (21-25) are in danger of going a sixth straight series against Texas without a series win.