video thumbnail

MIN@CWS: Gibson strikes out six over seven innings

After a 10-4 win Tuesday, the Astros will go for victory No. 51 on Wednesday against the Twins. In mid-August, that doesn't sound significant or impressive, but Houston would match its win total from all of last season with a victory. The Astros were 51-111 in 2013.

Houston lefty Brett Oberholtzer will oppose Minnesota righty Kyle Gibson in a matinee at Minute Made Park before the Astros start a 10-game road trip. The Twins will return to Target Field for an 11-game homestand.

Seeking that 51st win, Houston will get Dexter Fowler back in the lineup for the first time since June 26 when he went out with an intercostal strain.

Fowler played four rehab games at Triple-A Oklahoma City without any medical issues, going 3-for-10. In his first season with the Astros, he was batting .270 with a .377 on-base percentage and six homers and 24 RBIs in 76 games.

He joins the lineup just as the team learned rookie outfielder George Springer would be out for another two weeks as he continues to rehab a quad strain. Fowler is expected to start in center while Jake Marisnick will shift to right.

"Dexter had no issues at all in his rehab, so he'll be ready to go," Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "We'll need him. He's a missed part of our lineup."

Oberholtzer has made five straight quality starts, posting a 2.91 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over that span. He's struck out just 14, but walked only five. The 24-year-old started this season 0-6 with a 5.68 ERA, so he's made major strides after spending most of June in the Minors.

Gibson, meanwhile, has been as hot and cold as pitchers come. In eight of his 22 starts, the righty has allowed five earned runs or more. In 11 others, he's surrendered one run or fewer --- so there's not a lot of in between. Against Oakland in his last start, he walked five, which matched his free-pass total from his five previous starts.

Gibson cruised through four innings against the Athletics before allowing four runs in the fifth and two in the sixth.

"It's embarrassing to go out there and pitch five innings and walk that many guys," Gibson said. "It's unacceptable."

Twins: Arcia homers twice in return
Oswaldo Arcia was back in the lineup Tuesday after missing most of last weekend with a sore lower back. The 23-year-old, who last played Friday before Tuesday, batted seventh and played right field. He hit a solo shot and a two-run blast, his ninth and 10th homers of the season.

"He came in today, said he was fine, great," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He took swings in the cage [Monday], but he really hasn't done a lot of defensive work. But he comes in saying he's fine, I want him in the outfield, so I put him out there."

Arcia entered the game batting .227/.307/.396 in 63 games for Minnesota this season.

Astros: Marisnick getting in groove offensively
Day by day, outfielder Jake Marisnick is getting more comfortable in his new surroundings.

Marisnick, acquired in a July 31 trade with the Marlins, had a career-high four hits Monday and is hitting .578 (11-19) during the team's homestand. He's had multiple hits in four of his last five games.

"He's really staying on the ball. Early on, I felt he was pulling off the ball and chasing some pitches out of the zone," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "Even you look now, some of those breaking balls, he's able to put barrel to the ball because he's staying in there and shortening his swing a little bit."

Marisnick has been starting in center since joining Houston, but will move to right when Dexter Fowler is activated Wednesday. The club hopes the hits keep on coming regardless of position.

"I'm making some subtle improvements in my swing and it's been paying off in the game," Marisnick said. "I'm able to go out there and relax and let it happen."

Worth noting
• Ricky Nolasco is slated to rejoin the Twins' rotation Friday and make his first start since going on the disabled list July 8 with right elbow soreness.

• Astros outfielder Alex Presley began a rehab assignment with short season Class A Tri-City Tuesday. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout as the team's designated hitter. The 29-year-old has been out since July 8 with a right oblique strain.

• Astros DH Chris Carter had his sixth multihomer game of the season Tuesday, tying Lance Berkman's club record set in 2006. He has 15 home runs since July 1, which leads the Majors in that span.

MLB.com Comments