Newman takes 14-game hit streak into matchup with Astros
Houston; Thursday, 2 p.m. EDT
LINE: Astros favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 9 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: Kevin Newman is riding a 14-game hitting streak as Pittsburgh readies to play Houston.
The Astros are 28-12 in home games. The Houston offense has compiled a .267 batting average as a team this season, good for second in the league. Michael Brantley leads the team with an average of .317.
The Pirates are 20-22 in road games. Pittsburgh ranks fifth in the majors in hitting with a .264 batting average, Bryan Reynolds leads the club with an average of .367. The Pirates won the last meeting 14-2. Dario Agrazal earned his first victory and Newman went 4-for-6 with a home run and three RBIs for Pittsburgh. Framber Valdez registered his fourth loss for Houston.
LAST 10 GAMES: Astros: 2-8, .265 batting average, 6.38 ERA, outscored by 27 runs
Pirates: 7-3, .313 batting average, 3.80 ERA, outscored opponents by 24 runs
Pirates Injuries: Jameson Taillon: 60-day IL (elbow), Edgar Santana: 60-day IL (elbow), Jordan Lyles: 10-day IL (hamstring), Chad Kuhl: 60-day IL (elbow), Keone Kela: 60-day IL (shoulder), Rookie Davis: 10-day IL (finger/forearm), Nick Burdi: 60-day IL (biceps), Gregory Polanco: 10-day IL (shoulder), Lonnie Chisenhall: 60-day IL (finger), Erik Gonzalez: 60-day IL (collarbone), Francisco Cervelli: 10-day IL (concussion).