Despite a rough start to a 10-game road trip, the Tampa Bay Rays appear poised to continue their success in Houston.
They can do so by handing the AL West-leading Astros back-to-back home defeats for the first time in almost two months Tuesday night.
Tim Beckham hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Asdrubal Cabrera also drove in three runs as Tampa Bay (59-59) beat the Astros 9-2 on Monday. The Rays scored one fewer run than they did while being swept in a three-game series at Texas over the weekend.
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Trying to keep pace in the wild-card race, Tampa Bay has averaged 6.9 runs while winning 11 of 13 at Minute Maid Park.
''It's very beneficial for us, took three tough losses in Arlington and just needed a big win (Monday),'' said the light-hitting Beckham, 2 for 16 in seven games this month. "When I'm in there I just want to be productive and just want to produce any way I can and it was a big win for us.''
The Astros (64-55) are among the best home teams in baseball at 40-20, but they've dropped two of three there after winning 15 of the previous 17. Houston last lost consecutive games at Minute Maid Park on June 26 and 27 to the New York Yankees.
Though Tampa Bay's Jake Odorizzi (6-6, 3.09 ERA) has yielded three hits and struck out 15 over 13 scoreless innings to win his two starts against the Astros that came over the past two seasons, he'll face them for the first time at Houston.
The right-hander went 1-0 with a 2.66 ERA in four starts prior to Wednesday, when he matched season highs with six runs and nine hits allowed in six-plus innings in a 9-6 win over Atlanta. He didn't get the decision.
"To be honest, terrible,'' Odorizzi told MLB's official website.
"Funny how that works, but that's baseball. I've had one-run losses, and (Wednesday) I gave up a season-high in runs, and we got a win."
Jose Altuve, 1 for 5 against Odorizzi, has batted .393 in six home games this month.
Scott Feldman (5-5, 4.17) has posted a 2.16 ERA in his last four starts, giving up four hits in six innings of a 2-0 victory at San Francisco on Wednesday.
"I had a pretty good command of all four pitches and that was kind of helpful," he said.
The right-hander is 3-2 with a 2.41 ERA in six starts against the Rays, last facing them in 2013.
Cabrera, 4 for 7 against Feldman, is batting .477 with 10 RBIs in 17 games since coming off the disabled list July 28. Recent Rays acquisition Daniel Nava, who had three hits Monday, is 5 for 10 with a home run when facing Feldman.
Carlos Gomez is 1 for 17 through the first four of Houston's 10-game homestand, and the same in his last four against the Rays.