Most of Colby Lewis' struggles this season have come with two outs.
A matchup with baseball's worst hitting club, which also happens to be worst with two outs, could help him turn that trend around.Lewis looks to help the Texas Rangers continue their dominance of the Houston Astros when he takes the mound in Monday's series opener.Lewis (2-2, 6.12 ERA) gave up seven runs and a career worst-matching 12 hits over 3 2/3 innings of a 9-2 loss to Colorado on Wednesday. Eight of those hits came with two outs and opponents are batting .436 against him in those situations, one of the highest averages in the majors. Opponents are hitting .308 off the right-hander in all other situations.Manager Ron Washington didn't sound alarmed following his last performance."He looked like Colby to me," Washington said.Lewis has had success against the Astros, going 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA in nine games, including six starts.Houston (12-26) had dropped seven of eight prior to Sunday's 5-2 victory at Baltimore to avoid a sweep. Homers from Jason Castro and Marc Krauss helped the Astros pull away after suffering a 5-4 loss in 10 innings a day earlier."We've played some good baseball the last two days," said Matt Dominguez, who is 9 for 25 during a six-game hitting streak. "Pitched the ball well, got some timely hits. Hopefully that can give us a jump-start."However, the Astros were also just 2 for 11 with two outs and are batting a major league-worst .188 in such situations this season. They are also hitting a baseball-worst .222 in all situations.Though the Rangers (19-19) will have to bounce back from Sunday's 5-2 home loss to Boston, they've enjoyed a dominant run against Houston. Texas took two of three at home from April 11-13 -- both 1-0 victories -- while the Astros' 6-5, 10-inning win on April 12 was their lone triumph in the teams' last 14 meetings. They've been outscored 81-37 in that 1-13 stretch, and the Rangers have also won 19 of 22 in Houston.Starting for the Astros will be Brad Peacock (0-3, 5.01), who is likely aiming to cut down on his walks. He's issuing an average of 6.7 free passes per nine innings after walking four and allowing three runs and four hits over 6 2/3 innings in a 3-2 loss at Detroit on Wednesday.The righty is 0-2 with a 3.07 ERA in three career games against Texas, and gave up a run and three hits in 2 2/3 innings of relief in Houston's April 11 loss.Elvis Andrus comes in with an eight-game hitting streak, during which he's 12 for 29 (.414) after going 2 for 34 in his previous nine contests.Adrian Beltre is just 1 for 15 over his last four games but owns an OPS of 1.123 in 25 games against Houston since the start of the 2012 season with eight homers and 23 RBIs.Castro is batting .436 with nine RBIs in his last 11 matchups with Texas.The Astros hit .143 with only three extra-base hits in last month's series.
Since May 1, George Springer has a .400 ISO against fastballs, which is well above the MLB average of .173. In his five starts in 2014, Colby Lewis has allowed hitters to put up a .200 ISO on balls put into play.