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Houston Astros (55-46) at Detroit Tigers (54-48)
Friday, July 29 - 7:10 PM EST
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
Jose Altuve has made himself at home on the road with a scintillating 19-game hitting streak away from Minute Maid Park. The diminutive star looks to add another notch to that belt while also reaching base for the 35th consecutive road contest Friday when the Houston Astros open a three-game series at the Detroit Tigers.
Altuve is a blistering 40-for-77 during his road hitting streak and has 23 hits overall since the All-Star break, but is only 1-for-3 in a small sample size against Friday starter Matt Boyd. While the Astros salvaged the finale of their three-game set with the New York Yankees on Wednesday to post their fifth win in seven outings, the Tigers also have won five of seven after becoming the first team this season to sweep Boston. Miguel Cabrera homered for the second straight game in Wednesday's 4-3 win to finish up a 5-for-10 series with three RBIs and three runs scored at Fenway Park. The two-time American League MVP looks to continue his run of good fortune Friday against starter Collin McHugh, versus whom he is 4-for-8 with a pair of doubles.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ROOT (Houston), FSN Detroit
PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Collin McHugh (7-6, 4.18 ERA) vs. Tigers LH Matt Boyd (1-2, 4.63)
McHugh followed up his dominating 10-strikeout performance over six scoreless innings against Seattle on July 17 with another sterling six-frame effort six nights later in a 7-2 victory versus the Los Angeles Angels. The 29-year-old looks to ride that momentum into Detroit, against which he is 0-2 with a 3.72 ERA in three career starts. McHugh allowed eight runs and two homers in those starts versus the Tigers, the same totals that he has permitted over four starts (23 2/3 innings) in July.
Boyd excelled out of the gate since being recalled earlier this month, allowing one run on seven hits with 11 strikeouts in two starts (11 innings) before permitting three runs in 4 1/3 frames of a no-decision versus the Chicago White Sox on Saturday. The 25-year-old struggled in his lone encounter with Houston on Aug. 16, 2015, serving up a pair of solo homers to Colby Rasmus (1-for-31 in his last eight games) and five runs total in as many innings of a no-decision. Boyd is 1-1 with a 2.01 ERA in four home games (three starts) this season with a 1.07 WHIP and .182 batting average against.
1. Detroit, which opens a nine-game homestand, has won 21 of its last 31 at Comerica Park.
2. Houston 1B Marwin Gonzalez belted four solo homers and scored 11 runs during his career-high 11-game hitting streak.
3. Tigers DH Victor Martinez is riding a three-game RBI streak to go along with hitting safely in each of his last five contests.
PREDICTION: Astros 4, Tigers 2