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Astros-Mariners Preview

The Associated Press

A series with the Seattle Mariners seems to be just what the Houston Astros needed to begin attempting a turnaround.

They can at least put together their first three-game winning streak of 2014.

The Astros go for another strong performance at the plate Wednesday in order to continue their success against the Mariners, who are trying to end an eight-game skid.

Houston (7-14) opened this three-game series with a 7-2 win over Seattle (7-13) on Monday, matching its best scoring output of the season while ending a seven-game losing streak. The Astros followed that a day later by equaling their season high of 10 hits while connecting for three homers in a 5-2 victory.

They've won six in a row against the Mariners, and have put together a winning streak of the same length at Safeco Field. Houston has been particularly impressive at the plate, hitting .307 with seven homers while outscoring Seattle 31-7 over the past four visits.

Completing the series sweep would give the Astros the longest winning streak by either team in the all-time series, while also sending the Mariners to a ninth straight defeat for the first time since a franchise-record 17-game skid from July 6-26, 2011.

Matt Dominguez, a .245 career hitter, owns a .333 average in 20 meetings with Seattle. The third baseman is 8 for 15 with six extra-base hits and six RBIs over the past four road meetings.

All three of his hits in this series have gone for extra bases, with two leaving Safeco.

''Once the whole offense is flowing like it is the last couple games, you kind of get in a little groove with it,'' Dominguez said. ''It's been nice being able to score some runs.''

Chris Carter has also feasted on Mariners pitching, going 6 for 12 while plating five runs in his last three versus Seattle. He had a solo homer and an RBI single Tuesday.

An impressive offensive display may be needed with the Astros giving the ball to Jarred Cosart (1-2, 7.36), who is trying to rebound from the worst start of his career.

The right-hander only recorded one out while getting tagged for seven runs and two homers with four walks in an 11-3 loss at Oakland on Friday.

"It's not something that we want to relive," manager Bo Porter told the team's official website. "It makes it tough on your bullpen when the starter doesn't make it out of the first inning."

Cosart went five innings in his only meeting with the Mariners on Sept. 9, yielding one run and two hits while issuing a career-high six walks and not getting a decision in a 6-4 victory.

Seattle is hitting .161 during its six-game slide against Houston, and Dustin Ackley hasn't managed a hit in 20 at-bats in his last six matchups. The left fielder is 0 for 8 in this series, striking out six times.

Chris Young (0-0, 3.27) will toe the rubber after giving up four runs and seven hits with three walks in three innings of the Marlins' 8-4 walkoff win on Friday in Miami. The right-hander tossed six scoreless innings against Oakland in his first start.

"I just never got in a rhythm," Young said. "I never felt comfortable. I wanted to go deep in the game, and I need to pitch better to do so."

Young has won all three of his career starts against the Astros behind a 3.06 ERA, but this will be his first since taking the mound for San Diego on April 1, 2008.

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