Right-hander Doug Fister tries to make it five straight wins to begin the season on Friday night, when the Detroit Tigers visit Minute Maid Park for the second of four games with the Houston Astros.
The 29-year-old Californian, who won 10 games last season, opened 2013 with defeats of the New York Yankees, Seattle and Toronto before getting a no- decision against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 21.
He picked up another win in his lone start since after allowing three runs and striking out eight in seven innings of an 8-3 defeat of the Atlanta Braves.
In 34 overall innings, he's allowed just nine earned runs while walking six batters, striking out 25 and allowing a .230 opposition batting average.
He has never faced the Astros.
Fister faces Houston righty Bud Norris, who's alternated wins and losses through six starts.
He opened with an 8-2 defeat of Texas on March 31, then lost to Oakland, defeated the Angels, lost to the A's again, defeated Seattle and lost to Boston.
The three victories, though, are nearly half of the eight that Houston has compiled through its initial 29 games.
Norris has never faced the Tigers.
On Thursday, Don Kelly's RBI single was the go-ahead hit in a four-run 14th inning as Detroit outlasted Houston, 7-3. Matt Tuiasosopo added a two-run double and Jhonny Peralta also drove in a run during the deciding frame for the Tigers, who have won six of their last seven.
Luke Putkonen (1-0) worked 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for the win. He fanned four and gave up just one walk for his first major league victory.
"We got quite a few hits and weren't doing much with them for a while," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "But we hung in there. Obviously the pitching staff did a tremendous job."
Jason Castro hit a two-run homer and Carlos Pena added a solo shot for the Astros, who kicked off a season-long 10-game homestand with a defeat in their first extra-inning game of the year.
Dallas Keuchel (0-1) was charged with four runs on seven hits with four walks and as many strikeouts over 4 1/3 relief frames.
The Astros won two of three when the teams last met in Houston in 2009. Previously, Detroit swept a three-game home series in 2006.