(SportsNetwork.com) - Riding a season-high winning streak, the Houston Astros will try to sweep the Kansas City Royals for the first time in almost 13 years on Wednesday afternoon in the finale of a three-game series.
The Astros have plated 12 runs to the Royals' two in taking the first two games of this set, running their overall winning streak to four in a row. That comes on the heels of dropping four straight and last night's 3-0 win gave Houston a victory in seven of its past 11 games.
The Astros were swept in a three-game set at home by the Royals from April 15-17, but can complete their own three-game sweep in this series for the first time since July 6-8, 2001, also in Kansas City.
Collin McHugh struck out nine batters over seven scoreless innings in Tuesday night's victory, winning for the first time in his past five outings. Alex Presley went 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and Matt Dominguez also scored a run.
"That there is what you call an extremely well played Major League Baseball game," said Astros manager Bo Porter. "In all aspects of the game I felt like our guys understood every situation they were in tonight and did a tremendous job of executing."
Jeremy Guthrie gave up a run on seven hits over six innings to absorb the loss for the Royals, who have dropped three in a row and six of eight.
The Royals were limited to just five hits and are last in the American League with 194 runs scored. They have not homered in eight straight games.
"It's just a matter of the offense locking in," said Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer. "We just have to figure out a way."
Taking the mound this afternoon for the Astros will be Jarred Cosart, who turned 24 years old this past Sunday.
Three days earlier, Cosart was shooting for a third straight winning start but instead lost a 3-1 decision in Seattle. He gave up all three runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings and also walked four batters for a second straight outing.
Still, the right-hander is 2-2 with a 2.92 earned run average in six starts since giving up seven runs and recording just one out in a loss at Oakland on April 18.
Cosart is 3-4 overall this year with a 4.39 ERA and will face the Royals for the first time.
Left-hander Danny Duffy will make his fifth start this season for Kansas City after beginning the campaign in the bullpen.
He went 1-2 and gave up three runs in his first three starts before getting roughed up on Friday in a road test against the Los Angeles Angels. Duffy was charged with five runs on nine hits and two walks over six innings of a 6-1 setback while also yielding his first two home runs of the campaign.
The 25-year-old is 2-4 with a 2.59 ERA in 10 total appearances on the season, facing the Astros in relief on April 16. Duffy picked up a victory on that day with two innings of work, striking out four.