While they're surely excited about facing their former teammate over the weekend, the major league-worst Houston Astros can't be looking forward to a matchup against Jeff Karstens.
With Karstens looking to win a fifth straight start in this series and a fourth consecutive decision overall, the Pittsburgh Pirates try to extend their winning streak over Houston to eight Friday night at Minute Maid Park.
After missing more than two months with inflammation in his throwing shoulder, Karstens (3-2, 3.52 ERA) was hit hard in his first start since being removed from the disabled list June 25 but has been superb since. The right-hander has gone 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA over his last four outings spanning 29 innings, allowing 19 hits and seven walks.
"I'm not trying to blow fastballs by people; I'm just trying to keep people off-balance, and when they do hit the ball hard, hopefully it's right at us," he said.
Karstens was terrific again Sunday, throwing seven in...