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Astros Vs. Pirates Series Preview: Houston Rides Losing Streak To Pittsburgh

The Houston Astros are looking to get back on the winning track this week against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 5: Jordan Lyles #41of the Houston Astros pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on June 5, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 5: Jordan Lyles #41of the Houston Astros pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on June 5, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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The Astros could really use a kick in the rear, or wherever gets them off their road losing streak, which currently sits at six-games and could extend to seven against the Pirates on Monday night, which would be a new season high for the team.

The Astros could use a win. A few wins. A lot of wins. But they could start with one in their series opener against the Pirates, a team rumored to be after Jed Lowrie, but already an NL Central rival that seems to be having a bit more success in its developmental process.

If the Pirates get Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez back soon, they'll be fully loaded. Pittsburgh had already won four straight before McCutchen went down with a sprained wrist this weekend, but then loss to the Cardinals on Sunday to end that streak.

Houston needs to put them on a new one. It would be the perfect response to having such disappointing results when the schedule was favorable. Like when the Stros the Royals, Indians, Padres and Cubs.

The Astros were most recently swept by the Cubs, split a four game series with the Pirates (when they should've won the finale) before that, and dropped two out of three to the Royals before getting the best of the Indians.

True, the Indians were leading the AL Central at the time, but they were also among the most outscored teams in the league as well - which really says a lot about that division.

Anyway, now they have the Pirates, who boast the NL Central's second best record and the fifth lowest team ERA in the National League and Major League Baseball.

Check out the probable starters right here:

Game 1: Jordan Lyles (2-4, 4.59 ERA) vs. James McDonald (7-3, 2.44 ERA)

Game 2: Lucas Harrell (7-6, 4.33 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (9-2, 3.31 ERA)

Game 3: Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 1.35 ERA) vs. Kevin Correia (4-6, 4.32 ERA)

Game 4: Bud Norris (5-5, 4.90 ERA) vs. Jeff Karstens (1-2, 5.25 ERA)

Read more on the Astros at The Crawfish Boxes and SB Nation Houston. Head over to Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh for the Pirates fans' perspective. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball. Subscribe to the Youtube Channel for video commentary.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.