Major League Baseball
Houston at Arizona
When: 8:10 PM ET, Saturday, October 3, 2015
Where: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona

The Houston Astros are closing in on an American League playoff spot and can move one step closer when they visit the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday. Houston holds a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels for the second wild-card berth with two games to play and also remains alive in the AL West race as it trails the Texas Rangers by two games.

The Astros slugged four homers, racked up a season-high 19 hits and set a franchise record for runs scored in rolling to a 21-5 win over the Diamondbacks in Friday's opener of the three-game set. Rookie shortstop Carlos Correa smashed one of the homers—- he went 3-for-4, scored four runs and drove in four — while third baseman Luis Valbuena (3-for-4, two RBIs), center fielder Colby Ramsus (2-for-4, four runs scored, three RBIs) and right fielder George Springer (2-for-7, four runs scored) also went deep. Houston has won five of its last six games and sends right-hander Collin McHugh to the mound, who is 5-0 over his last six starts while being a strong complement to 20-game winner Dallas Keuchel. Arizona had a four-game winning streak halted in the opener and committed a season-worst four errors while allowing the most runs in team history.

8:10 p.m. ET, ROOT (Houston) FSN Arizona

PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Collin McHugh (18-7, 3.98 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks RH Jeremy Hellickson (9-11, 4.60)

McHugh defeated Texas in his last outing when he gave up four runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. He is 29-16 in two seasons with Houston after arriving in town with an 0-8 mark in 15 major-league appearances (nine starts) with the New York Mets and Colorado Rockies. McHugh is 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA in two career starts against the Diamondbacks, including a victory Aug. 2 when he gave up one run and eight hits in seven innings.

Hellickson has lost three straight starts and takes a final attempt at reaching double digits in victories for the fourth time in his career. He fell to San Diego in his last turn when he gave up one run and four hits in six innings. Hellickson lost his lone career start against Houston on Aug. 1 when he was torched for seven runs (six earned) and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings.


1. Valbuena has homered in consecutive contests and is 13-for-27 with three homers over his past 12 games.

2. Arizona OFs Ender Inciarte (shin) and David Peralta (wrist) each missed the series opener due to injuries.

3. Houston CF Carlos Gomez aggravated his rib injury Wednesday and sat out the opener.

PREDICTION: Astros 9, Diamondbacks 5
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Houston 85-75 W2 53-28 32-47 18-16 14-18 38-38 15-3
Arizona 78-82 L1 38-41 40-41 15-18 14-19 39-37 10-8
Last Meeting
Houston Arizona
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
10/2/15 HOU 21 ARI 5 .413 4 1.286 .297 1 .879
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Houston C. Correa .438 7 1.812
Arizona A. Hill .385 5 1.000
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Houston C. Correa 4 7 8
Arizona W. Castillo 1 4 2
Pitching ERA Avg K
Houston 3.16 .329 35
Arizona 8.23 .248 32
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Houston J. Altuve .310 195 .797
Arizona P. Goldschmidt .317 178 .989
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Houston E. Gattis 27 66 87
Arizona P. Goldschmidt 31 100 107
Pitching ERA Avg K
Houston 3.58 .249 1264
Arizona 4.05 .265 1192