Rangers have brooms ready for Astros

Rookie Nick Tepesch will try to pitch the Texas Rangers to a three-game sweep of the AL West-foe Houston Astros on Sunday afternoon.

Though on opposite ends of the AL West standings, these two teams have been embroiled in a pair of competitive ballgames in the first two contests of this set.

On Friday, the Rangers pulled out a 4-2 win thanks to solo home runs from Nelson Cruz, Jeff Baker and David Murphy.

In Saturday's contest, the Rangers withstood a late rally by the Astros to hold on for an 8-7 victory. In the contest, the Rangers were leading 8-3 after seven innings. However, Jose Altuve got an RBI sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. The Astros tacked on three more in the ninth inning on an RBI single from Trevor Crowe, a wild pitch from Texas closer Joe Nathan and a sacrifice by from Marwin Gonzalez.

Chris Carter then came to the plate with a runner on first, but popped out to shortstop to end the game and the rally. With the triumph, the Rangers have won six of their last eight.

Yu Darvish (6-1) got the win for the Rangers to tie for the most victories in the majors. Darvish struck out eight batters and allowed three runs on just three hits in seven innings. Nathan allowed one run but still managed to come away with his 11th save.

Philip Humber took his eighth loss of the season by allowing five runs in just two-thirds of an inning. The Astros have lost three straight and continue to hold the worst record in baseball.

Making just his seventh start of his career will be the right-hander Tepesch for Texas on Sunday. The former 14th-round selection of the 2010 draft made his Major League debut earlier this season and has been decent enough.

However, in recent starts the 24-year-old has really struggled as he has been lit up for 10 earned runs combined in his last two starts. That came after he allowed just six runs in his first four starts combined. Most recently, Tepesch struggled against the Cubs and allowed six runs, five earned, on six hits and four walks last Monday. The effort gave him his second straight loss of the season.

Overall, Tepesch is 2-3 on the season with an ERA of 4.50. Those numbers come through six total starts for Tepesch, who will be making his first ever start against Houston on Sunday.

'Stros hurler Jordan Lyles will be making his third start of the season on Sunday after being recalled on May 1.

Lyles was a regular in the Astros' rotation a year ago when he made 25 starts though he went just 5-12 with an ERA of 4.09. Overall, the 22-year-old has already pitched in 47 games, 42 of which were starts, during the last three seasons.

Obviously on a short leash, Lyles has gone exactly five innings in each of his starts this season with decent results. He is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in those starts after he earned the win in a 7-6 decision over Los Angeles last time out. In that contest, Lyles allowed three runs on four hits while tying a season-high with six strikeouts.

Lyles has faced the Rangers four times in his career with disastrous results. In those appearance, Lyles is 0-3 with an ERA of 6.85 with just 22 1/3 innings of work scattered over those four starts.