Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Astros will be looking to extend their pair of winning streaks on Saturday night when they play the third contest in a four-game series against the hosts Cleveland Guardians.
The Astros have outperformed opponents by a score of 21-4 during their three-game winning streak. They filled that stretch with a 6-0 thrashing of the Guardians in Thursday’s series opener and a 9-3 win the following night.
The two wins extended Houston’s road record to an American League-best 36-21 this season and the team’s winning streak at Progressive Field to seven games.
Trey Mancini of the Astros achieved his first career grand slam to highlight a two-homer performance on Friday. He has three homers in four games since being acquired from the Baltimore Orioles in a three-team swap that includes the Tampa Bay Rays.
“These are some pretty special first games,” Mancini told AT&T Southwest. “Like I said the other day, I’m really happy to be a part of this.”
“I’ve known Trey for several years through (Orioles manager) Brandon Hyde,” said Astros bench coach Joe Espada, team managing manager while Dusty Baker recovered from COVID. “He’s an amazing human being, and he’s been through a lot. Watching him succeed the way he did, it brings an extra special element to it.”
Jose Altuve of Houston is a strong 11-for-18 with three runs in his last four games.
Astros right-hander Luis Garcia (8-7, 3.81 ERA) will be looking to break a two-start slip on Saturday.
Garcia, 25, gave up four runs on multiple strokes in 5 2/3 innings of a 5-3 setback at Oakland on July 26 before allowing three runs in seven innings of a 3-2 loss to Boston on Monday.
He also fell to 1-1 with a 1.64 career ERA against Cleveland after hitting four runs (two earned) in five innings from a 6-1 setback on May 23.
The Guardians will play on Saturday with right-handed Cal Quantrill (7-5, 4.08), who qualified with a pair of no-decisions in his last two starts despite allowing 10 runs (nine earned) and four homers in 11 1/3 innings.
Quantrill, 27, lost his singles career decision to Houston on May 25. He allowed two runs on six strokes and walked four times in six innings from a 2-1 setback. Quantrill has a 3.95 lifetime ERA in four appearances (two starts) vs the Astros.
Cleveland rookie Steven Kwan saw his 18-game streak come to an end on Friday. He dropped out of the contest in the fourth inning for preventative reasons after fouling the ball from his feet during the previous at-bat.
“He really hit the same spot in (practice hitting), so when he hit him a second time he barked a little bit,” said Guardians manager Terry Francona. “I thought the best chance to make him available (Saturday is to be out of the game), and he agreed. Because I asked him, I said, ‘Hey guys, I know you’ve got a streak.’ He kind of pointed out something and said, ‘No, I’m fine.’ He’s a pretty smart kid.”
Kyle Tucker (ill) of Houston missed the second game in a row on Friday, while Aledmys Diaz (finger) was also the observer. Both players are ready to make a pinch hit if the situation arises, Espada said.
–Field Level Media