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Pirates Vs. Astros: Houston Seeks Rare Sweep Sunday

The Houston Astros face the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday in the last game of a three-game series, and the final contest between the teams as members of the National League Central Division. The Astros have won the first two games of the series, giving them the chance for their first series sweep since a May 23 victory over the Cubs.

If Houston is going to complete the sweep, they will have to solve Pirates starter A.J. Burnett. The veteran Burnett has pitched well this season, going 15-8 with a 3.64 ERA. He has lost his last three starts, though the losses have come more as a result of Pittsburgh's stagnant bats than poor pitching. Burnett is making his fourth start against Houston this season, with a 1-0 record and 4.42 ERA in his previous three appearances against the Astros.

Houston will send right-hander Jordan Lyles to the mound. Lyles holds a 4-11 record in his second major-league season, and has recorded a 5.40 ERA to date. He was roughed up in his last start against the Pirates, giving up five runs in just 4⅔ innings in a Sept. 4 loss.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 CT. Fox Sports Houston and KTRH 740 AM handle the broadcasts.

Stick with SB Nation Houston for scores, previews, updates and more from the Astros vs. Pirates series. For more insight and analysis, check out Astros blog The Crawfish Boxes, or for the Pittsburgh perspective, check out Pirates blog Bucs Dugout.

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