(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Astros will send one of the hottest pitchers in the game to the hill on Sunday afternoon, as their four-game series with the Seattle Mariners comes to a close at Safeco Field.
Getting the call for the Astros will be Dallas Keuchel, who's been a bright spot for the lackluster squad this season at 5-2 with a 2.92 ERA.
Keuchel has been one of the league's most dominant pitchers in recent weeks. Over his last three starts, Keuchel is 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA, striking out 22 batters in 25 1/3 innings.
The southpaw narrowly missed his second straight shutout on May 19 after allowing a pair of runs in the ninth inning to the Angels, exiting after 8 2/3 innings while allowing just five hits in the victory.
"I think anybody would want to finish that game, but at the end of the day, we got the win," Keuchel said.
"Dallas threw the ball tremendous, and we gave him every opportunity to get the complete-game shutout," Astros manager Bo Porter added. "It didn't happen, but it doesn't diminish what he did."
Hisashi Iwakuma will toe the rubber for Seattle. After a DL stint delayed his start to the season, Iwakuma has been sensational, sporting a 3-0 record with a 1.76 ERA and yielding just 20 hits and two walks over 30 2/3 innings.
Iwakuma has pitched eight innings in three straight outings, including a victory over Texas on May 20 when he allowed just six hits and two earned runs.
"He's phenomenal," Iwakuma's teammate Kyle Seager said. "He's got great tempo and (induces) ground balls."
Since signing with the Mariners in 2012, Iwakuma has thrived at Safeco Field, going 13-6 with a 2.50 ERA over 205 1/3 innings at home.
After dropping the first two games of the series, the Astros salvaged a game on Saturday with a 9-4 victory.
With the game tied a 2-2, Houston pulled away with a five-run fifth inning, highlighted by a two-run home run off the bat of George Springer.
Springer also homered in the first inning, giving him six on the season. He finished the game with five RBI, while Jose Altuve, Chris Carter and Alex Presley collected two hits apiece.
Brett Oberholtzer (1-6) earned his first win of the season, lasting six innings and allowing six hits and three runs (two earned) while striking out a career-high eight.
Brandon Maurer (1-3) took the loss, pitching just 4 1/3 innings while surrendering six earned runs.
Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager both went 2-for-4 for the home team.