(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Rays will try for just their third three- game winning streak of the season on Saturday evening in a bout with the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
With a series victory on the line, Tampa Bay will call on Chris Archer, who is 3-3 with a 3.42 ERA.
Archer has pitched outstanding of late, allowing just three earned runs over his past five starts (31 innings), but he has just one win over that span.
The 25-year-old tossed 6 1/3 innings of shutout ball on June 8 but settled for a no-decision as the Rays went on to lose to the Mariners, 5-0.
Archer's success on the road this season (4.14 ERA) has not matched his production at home (2.57).
Jarred Cosart will answer the call for the Astros. The second-year starter is 5-5 with a 4.19 ERA.
Cosart improved to 5-5 on June 9 following a win over the Diamondbacks, as he allowed three earned runs over six innings of work while punching out eight. It marked the second straight outing that he's matched a career high in strikeouts.
The Rays opened the three-game weekend series in impressive fashion on Friday night with a 6-1 victory, snapping their 10-game road losing streak in the process..
Alex Cobb (2-4) was dazzling in the triumph, allowing just one earned run over 6 1/3 innings while striking out a season-high 11. Cobb and four relievers combined to allow just four hits on the evening.
"My game plan was to go out there and show them early that I'm going to be throwing off speed in and out of the zone," Cobb said. "Try to gain a little more respect for my fastball later on in the game."
"When Cobb is right, he's one of the best three pitchers in the league," Rays manager Joe Maddon added. "I'll put him up against anybody. He's one of the best kept secrets nationally."
Tampa Bay got the scoring started in the top of the second with a two-run double off the bat of Matt Joyce. Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria added two-run hits in the fifth and ninth innings, respectively.
Zobrist finished 3-for-4 and Desmond Jennings was 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored.
Collin McHugh (4-4) suffered the loss after allowing five hits and four runs (three earned) over five innings. He's now given up six earned runs over his past two starts after a pair of scoreless outings preceded.
The Astros' lone source of offense came on a solo home run by Jon Singleton, who's already belted four longballs over his first 44 major league at-bats.