Astros (26-45) Visit Rangers (44-28) In Silver Boot Redux

(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers and Josh Hamilton both try to continue impressive streaks this evening, when the team opens a three-game set against the Lone Star State-rival Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Hamilton has hit safely in a career-best 18 games, while the American League West-leading Rangers have won 11 straight games - their longest winning streak since ripping off a team-record 14 wins in a row run from May 12-27, 1991.

Texas extended its streak in dramatic fashion on Thursday, when Vladimir Guerrero's game-winning RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Rangers to a 6-5 decision over Pittsburgh.

Hamilton ended 3-for-4 with a run scored while Justin Smoak drove in two runs for the Rangers, who haven't lost since June 11 at Milwaukee. Elvis Andrus added two hits and two runs scored in the victory.

"We just keep playing hard every day. That's all you can ask for," Smoak said. "Hope for the best, and we've been fortunate."

The Rangers are now 18-4 in June. Hamilton has been the driving force behind the surge, hitting .500 (36-for-72) with eight homers and 24 RBI during his streak.

Another reason the Rangers are atop the West has been the right arm of Colby Lewis, who is 7-4 with a 3.07 ERA. Lewis won his third straight start with a complete-game effort Saturday in Houston, holding the Astros to a run and 10 hits. He also struck out nine without walking a batter.

This will be his second-ever start against the Astros, who will try to slow down the blazing Rangers with veteran Brian Moehler. The righty was the hard- luck loser to Lewis and the Rangers on Saturday, as he gave up just one hit - a two-run home run - in six innings of the 5-1 loss that dropped him to 0-4 on the year to go along with a 5.86 ERA.

Moehler is 6-6 lifetime against the Rangers with a 4.90 ERA in 14 games (12 starts).

The Astros bounced back from a sweep at the hands of the Rangers last weekend to take the final two games of their three-game set with the San Francisco Giants. On Thursday, Hunter Pence hit a three-run home run to help Houston win the series with a 7-5 win at Minute Maid Park.

Lance Berkman went 2-for-4 with two RBI while rookie Jason Castro hit his first career homer and scored twice for the Astros, who had dropped five in a row before winning the last two.

Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez (4-10) was charged with just two unearned runs and four hits with a walk and three strikeouts over six innings.

The Astros have lost eight of their last nine to the Rangers.

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