(SportsNetwork.com) - Perhaps a rendezvous with the worst team in baseball will get a team only three games superior in the standings out of a season- long funk.
The Texas Rangers will try and get back to their usual output -- four straight seasons with 90-plus victories -- when they open a three-game series with the Houston Astros on Monday night at Globe Life Park.
Houston has lost 100 games in three straight seasons and is a predictable fifth in the American League's West Division, but the perennially successful Rangers are only fourth in the division after a run that's included two division championships and a wild card berth.
Most recently, Texas has struggled in a stretch in which it's lost seven of eight games and averaged 3.3 runs while its starters have posted a combined 6.91 earned run average.
A weekend series loss to the Mets in New York included a .295 batting average and seven home runs, but still two defeats in three games.
"It's nice that they started to swing and able to get the ball in the air and start finding the fences," manager Ron Washington said. "Now, we've got to start doing it with runners in scoring position so we can put up some crooked numbers."
Texas scored seven runs while winning two of three April games from the Astros in Houston.
The Astros have also fallen on hard times since they were lauded as "Your 2017 World Series Champs" on the cover of the June 30 issue of Sports Illustrated.
A series sweep by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over the weekend stretched the recent losing skid to seven games.
"Right now we're in a rut, and we have not played well, but nobody is going to feel sorry for you," manager Bo Porter said. "It's up to the men in this clubhouse. These are the guys that we have and those are the guys we're going to run out there. It's going to be up to us to rectify what it is we have going."
Right-hander Jarred Cosart gets the start for Houston after a stretch of three straight road games in which he's compiled a 1.89 earned run average.
Still, he was battered to the tune of six runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 13-2 loss to Seattle on Tuesday at home.
"When he was on the streak that he was on, he was really finishing his breaking ball and inducing weak contact, but (Tuesday), there were just a lot of pitches up in the zone," Porter said.
In two meetings with the Rangers, he's 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA.
Miles Mikolas gets a second start for the Rangers after allowing three runs in 5 1/3 innings of his 2014 starting debut on Wednesday at Baltimore.
He was called up from Triple-A Round Rock earlier in the day and surrendered one run in five innings before allowing two more in the sixth.
The Orioles won the game, 6-4.
Texas has split six matchups with the Astros this season.