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Game No. 114: Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins

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The Stros look for a second straight win, sans Carlos Gomez in Minneapolis

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros (58-55) vs. Minnesota Twins (46-67), August 10, 2016, 7:10 PM CT

TV: ROOTSW
Radio: La Nueva 94.1 FM, KBME 790
Online: MLB.TV
Minnesota Twins SB Nation Blog: Twinkie Town

Pitching Matchup:

LHP Dallas Keuchel (7-11, 4.56 ERA/3.87 FIP) vs. Ervin Santana (5-9, 3.62 ERA/3.86 FIP)

Preview:

The big news out of Minneapolis this afternoon was Carlos Gomez' DFA. A move that was undoubtedly thought about for a while has now come to fruition - and was probably expedited by Gomez badly misplaying a few fly balls on Monday night that cost the Astros two runs, the deciding margin in the game. We were provided with Colin McHugh's glorious reaction, though.

The Astros announced the call up of RHP Jandel Gustave from Fresno to take Gomez' spot on the active roster. Gustave, who has been in the Astros organization since 2010, reportedly tops out at triple digits on the radar gun and sported a 3.17 ERA and a K/9 rate around 9 in 51 innings this year at Fresno.

The Astros' outfield tonight will look no different than last night with Gomez' absence - Kemp, Marisnick and Springer start once again, and Preston Tucker will serve as the DH.

The Astros send Dallas Keuchel out to face Minnesota tonight. Keuchel, coming off of arguably the best start of his career last Friday against the Rangers in Houston (a complete game with a game score of 91 and 20 ground balls) looks to keep his improving 2016 campaign going. Minnesota ranks 25th in the majors in team ground ball rate at 42% - so tonight should be a good battle of an extreme ground ball pitcher against a team that doesn't hit a ton of them.

To counter Keuchel, the Twins are only starting two left-handed hitters tonight - Joe Mauer is out of the lineup, and former Astros Robbie "Bob" Grossman (a switch-hitter) is hitting second.

On the other side is Ervin Santana, who will be making his first start against Houston since September of last season. Generally regarded as an innings-eater who's logged 2000 innings for his career, Santana's numbers have been solid, if unspectacular in 2016. His K/9 rate is a pedestrian 6.61, a little lower than his career number, but his walk rate is just 2.20 per nine innings. Santana's combination of low strikeouts and walks makes him an ideal back end rotation guy for a team that once again ranks near the bottom of the pack in major league strikeout rates.