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Minnesota at Houston

Venue: Minute Maid Park
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When the Minnesota Twins swept three games from the Houston Astros last month, they had Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.

Neither is available for the Twins this time.

Minnesota visits Minute Maid Park for the first time in seven years to start a three-game set Monday that begins with few recognizable players and rookie starters on the mound for these rebuilding teams.

Morneau was 5 for 13 and Mauer was limited to one hit in 11 at-bats when Minnesota swept Houston from Aug. 2-4. Morneau, however, was dealt to Pittsburgh on Saturday while Mauer is not with the club on this trip as he recovers from a concussion.

The youth movement is in full swing, with both teams using three rookies in their Sunday lineup.

Minnesota (59-76) gave catcher Josmil Pinto his big league debut in a 4-2 victory over Texas, also starting 33-year-old rookie Doug Bernier and first baseman Chris Colabello.

Houston (45-91) ended a five-game skid with a 2-0 home win over Seattle, with rookies Robbie Grossman, L.J. Hoes and Jonathan Villar combining for five strikeouts and 10 hitless at-bats.

Rookies will be on the mound Monday when Houston's Paul Clemens (4-4, 5.81 ERA) is matched up with Minnesota's Andrew Albers (2-2, 2.92).

Clemens will make his second career start after yielding one run over six innings and not receiving a decision Tuesday in a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox. The right-hander, who will remain in the rotation for the remainder of the season, was in line for the win before the bullpen conceded three runs in the eighth inning.

"It's an honor, it's a privilege," Clemens said. "Just got to continue to work."

Albers threw 17 1-3 scoreless innings in winning his first two career starts before going 0-2 with a 5.49 ERA in his next three. He recovered after consecutive five-run efforts by allowing three over seven innings in Wednesday's 8-1 defeat to Kansas City.

Houston will try to improve to 12-26 against left-handed starters when it faces Albers for the first time. Minnesota has never faced Clemens.

Grossman turned in an impressive series in Minnesota last month, going 5 for 13 although he struck out six times. Hoes and Villar combined for three hits in 19 at-bats.

The Twins are visiting Houston for the first time since taking two of three in 2006. They have captured three of their last four road series, including a second in that span against a division leader by beating the Rangers in two of three this past weekend.

Minnesota's four runs Sunday represented its highest amount in its last eight games, with the 14 totaled in that span the lowest in the majors.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Andrew Albers, HP
2013 stats
37.0 Innings Pitched 52.2
2-2 Wins-Losses 4-4
2.92 Earned Run Average 5.81
3 Walks 18
13 Strikeouts 39
101 Pitches Per Start 78
Career vs. opponent
- Innings Pitched -
--- Wins-Losses ---
- Earned Run Average -

Paul Clemens, RHP
Weather
Indoor
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Minnesota5th AL Central717.2929 ½ 3-7 L 3
Houston5th AL West717.29272-8 L 2
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Paul Clemens
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Albers000000
Arcia000000
Bernier000000
Burton000000
Colabello000000
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Andrew Albers
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Barnes000000
Bedard000000
Carter000000
Castro000000
Chapman000000
 

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Houston
PlayerInjury
A. BregmanHamstring
K. EmanuelElbow
C. GomezRibs
L. McCullersShoulder
M. StassiWrist
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 29OAKOAK 7-4Madson Sipp 
Apr 30OAKOAK 2-0Hahn Devenski 
May 1OAK 4:05 PM EDT  
Jun 3HOU 8:10 PM EDT  
Jun 4HOU 4:10 PM EDT  
Jun 5HOU 2:10 PM EDT  
Jul 7HOU 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 8HOU 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 9HOU 4:10 PM EDT  
Jul 10HOU 2:10 PM EDT  
Jul 18OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Jul 19OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Jul 20OAK 3:35 PM EDT  
Aug 29HOU 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 30HOU 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 31HOU 2:10 PM EDT  
Sep 19OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Sep 20OAK10:05 PM EDT  
Sep 21OAK 3:35 PM EDT