The Seattle Mariners take aim at their longest road winning streak in over two years on Saturday when they continue a four-game set with the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Seattle won its fourth straight on the road Friday, as Dustin Ackley went 4- for-5 with four RBI and a run scored to help the Mariners to a 7-1 win.
Abraham Almonte drove in two runs, while Taijuan Walker (1-0) got the win in his major league debut after giving up just one unearned run on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts in five innings for the Mariners, who have taken the first two games of this set after dropping six straight overall.
"It was a lot of fun," Walker said. "I'm glad the first one is out of the way. The first hitter, I was really nervous. But after that I got more comfortable as the game went on."
Another win on Saturday would give the M's their best run away from home since winning six in a row from April 17-30, 2011.
L.J. Hoes had two hits while Jonathan Villar scored the only run of the game for the Astros, who have lost four straight. Brad Peacock (3-5) was charged with five runs on seven hits with four walks in 4 2/3 innings.
"He just didn't have his offspeed stuff working tonight," Astros manager Bo Porter said of Peacock. "He forced himself into some fastball counts and they put some good swings on it."
Seattle will hand the ball to left-hander Joe Saunders on Saturday. Saunders lost his third straight decision on Monday against Texas, as he was pounded for seven runs and nine hits in seven innings to fall to 10-13 to go along with a 5.09 ERA.
The 32-year-old hurler is 1-5 with a 7.71 ERA over his last seven starts.
"It's just something I'm going through right now," Saunders said. "Like I said, you just have to keep your head up, your chin up and keep pushing on."
Houston, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Dallas Keuchel, who is 5-7 with a 4.82 ERA. Keuchel was terrific against Toronto on Sunday, but had nothing to show for it, as he received a no-decision in his team's 2-1 loss, despite pitching seven scoreless innings.
Keuchel has left five of his last seven starts either winning or tied, but has just one win in that time.
"The bullpen is no different from starting in the sense of you have your off days," Keuchel said. "You're not always going to be sharp. It's how you battle."
Seattle has won nine of 14 from the Astros this season and has won seven of the last eight matchups.