Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 6/4/13
The Houston Astros sure aren't playing like the team with the worst record in the AL. Back home after a perfect road trip, Houston will try to extend its winning streak to seven when it faces the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night. The Astros (21-37) have a ways to go before they can start thinking about reaching the .500 mark, but Houston has the longest current winning streak in baseball. The club capped a 6-0 trip and finished its first four-game sweep as a member of the AL with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. It's the Astros' longest run since a seven-game streak July 27-Aug. 3, 2010. "It was just a matter of time," manager Bo Porter said. "... you're starting to see we're coming together." Houston is playing well in close games, winning four times on the trip by two or fewer runs. Its starters have played a big part, posting a 2.28 ERA during the club's 7-1 stretch. Lucas Harrell (4-6, 5.37 ERA) will try to keep that run of excellent pitching going Tuesday when he faces an Orioles team that's won nine of 13. The right-hander had gone 0-4 with a 7.53 ERA in six May starts before giving up four runs - three earned - in 5 2-3 innings in a 7-5 victory over Colorado on Thursday. Harrell's outing was made more impressive by the fact that he worked around the Astros' season-high four errors. He'll face a challenge in first baseman Chris Davis, who hit his major league-leading 20th home run in a 4-2 win over Detroit on Sunday that helped the Orioles (32-25) take two of three from the AL Central leader. "I think we can compete with anybody," Davis told the Orioles' official website. Davis is a big reason why the Orioles lead the majors with 81 homers and are second with a .275 batting average. His .357 average and 52 RBIs are second to the totals of Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera. "Just the consistent approach every day has helped me out, the routine," said Davis, the AL player of the week. "I heard for such a long time that routine was such a big part of this game. I've really found one that I like and I've continued to do that.'' Davis, though, has gone 3 for 23 in seven games against the Astros, all while with Texas. Baltimore's Chris Tillman (4-2, 4.26) will also have to contend with a dangerous power hitter in Chris Carter, who has 12 home runs after leading the Astros with three and seven RBIs on the trip. Tillman has given up 11 homers in his last five appearances after yielding a career-high four in a 9-6 victory over Washington on Wednesday. The right-hander, who allowed six runs in 4 2-3 innings, has never faced Houston. The Orioles go for a seventh consecutive victory in this series following a sweep in their last meeting June 17-19, 2008. Baltimore dropped all three games in its only series in Houston from June 3-5, 2003.
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