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Game No. 96 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox

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The Astros look to win series and push the Red Sox losing streak to seven

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros (52-43) vs. Boston Red Sox (42-52), Jul 22, 2015 7:10 PM CDT

TV: Roots Sports SW, MLB.TV

Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM

Red Sox SB Nation Blog: Over the Monster

Pitching Matchup

RHP Collin McHugh (10-5, 4.35 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) vs. RHP Joe Kelly (2-5, 5.67 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)

Preview

Colin McHugh will take the mound for the Astros as they look to clinch a series win over the struggling Boston Red Sox. While McHugh has struggled to emulate the same level of success he achieved last season, as demonstrated by his 4.35 ERA on the year, over the course of his last four starts McHugh has posted a strong 2.73 ERA. Friday against the Rangers, McHugh did not have his best stuff, as he gave up 11 hits in only six innings and seemed to constantly be working with men on base. At the end of the day though, McHugh was good enough for a 3-2 victory over Texas.

Opposing McHugh for the Red Sox will be Joe Kelly. Kelly will make his first big-league start in nearly a month after being called up for this evening’s game. Kelly was 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in four outings in his stint with the Pawtucket Red Sox. The Red Sox are hoping that Kelly will be able to help a struggling pitching staff turn things around. In the last 14 days the Red Sox pitching staff has combined for a 5.05 ERA, while giving up 15 HR.

Kelly's task will not be easy as the Astros continue to lead the majors in home runs with 129. Further, over the last week the Astros bats have started to heat up with a team average of .298. Individually, Chris Carter returned to the lineup yesterday launching a two-run home run, his second homer of the month. Here is to hoping a couple of games off were just what Carter needed to regain his focus at the plate.

Overall this is a matchup of two teams moving in vastly different directions. On one hand the Astros are looking to win their second consecutive series to start off the second half, while the Red Sox are just trying to avoid matching a season high seven game losing streak. So, here is to hoping the trends continue and the Astros wrap up the series tonight, taking advantage of a slumping Red Sox pitching staff.

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