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Rays-Astros preview

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What's new: The Astros had lost three of four entering Wednesday, including two against the Rays. Houston's power and speed remain impressive: only Oakland and Toronto entered Wednesday with more homers, only Kansas City had more steals. 2B Jose Altuve had boosted his average to .326, third in the AL. Sunday's starter, LHP Dallas Keuchel, is in the top 10 in the AL with a 2.63 ERA. But Houston is near the bottom of the league in ERA and shutouts.

Key stat: Opponents had failed to score at least four runs against Houston four times through 15 games this month. The Rays were responsible for two.

Connections: Houston RHPs Kyle Farnsworth and Chad Qualls are former Rays. LHP Erik Bedard pitched for the Astros last year. 1B James Loney is a Houston native.

Series history: Rays lead 13-9 overall, tied 3-3 at home.

Matt Baker, Times staff writer

Rays-Astros preview 06/18/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 8:57pm]
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