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Houston at Seattle

Venue: Safeco Field

The Houston Astros haven't been producing much offense recently.

This is especially true when Brett Oberholtzer takes the ball.

A day after being recalled from the minors, Oberholtzer again seeks his first win Saturday night against the Seattle Mariners.

Houston (17-32) is batting .163 with six runs during a four-game slide, going 2 for 20 with runners in scoring position. The Astros hit .299 while winning six of their previous nine.

RBI leaders Jason Castro and Matt Dominguez are a combined 4 for 28 with 11 strikeouts during the losing streak. Rookie George Springer - who slugged .579 over his last 15 games with four homers and 10 RBIs - sat out his second straight game in Friday's 6-1 loss at Seattle due to a strained right hip flexor.

Springer told the team's website he was ready to play, but manager Bo Porter erred on the side of caution, though he said the rookie outfielder has a shot to return Saturday.

Jose Altuve has seemingly been immune to the rest of the team's offensive slump, going 26 for 59 (.441) over his last 13 games.

Oberholtzer (0-6, 5.68 ERA) is plenty familiar with Houston's offensive woes having been backed with eight total runs of support in his seven starts

The left-hander began the season in the starting rotation but was sent to the minors after yielding four runs in six innings in an 11-4 loss to Detroit on May 6. In two starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City, he went 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA.

This will be Oberholtzer's 18th career start, and his best one came against Seattle on Sept. 1. He tossed four-hitter while striking out five and walking one in a 2-0 win for his only complete game.

Oberholtzer was recalled to give Dallas Keuchel an extra day off after he threw a career-high 128 pitches and came one out shy of a second straight complete game against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

"You look at our starting pitching, and that's been one of our strong suits of our team this year," Porter told the Astros' official website. "We want to do everything we can to take care of those guys."

Seattle (24-23) has won four of five overall and five of six from Houston. Willie Bloomquist drove in three runs Friday while James Jones singled to extend his major league-leading hitting streak to 13 games.

Brandon Maurer (1-2, 6.00) will get the ball after his recent performances prompted the Mariners to skip his scheduled start Wednesday at Texas with the benefit of two days off in a five-day span. He lasted only 3 2-3 innings in his previous outing, allowing two runs and two hits while walking a season-high four in a 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay on May 14.

He posted a 2.16 ERA in four games with Triple-A Tacoma, but has thrown more than five innings just once in five outings since being recalled April 20.

"Obviously the next step is up to him," manager Lloyd McClendon told the team's website. "You've got to go out and get it done. We can talk about how close he is and the intangibles he brings and the stuff. Ultimately he has to perform on the field. But yeah, I think he's close."

Dominguez is 3 for 6 with two doubles off Maurer.

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

B. Oberholtzer
Houston 2014 stats Seattle
0-3 Wins-Losses 1-2
14.1 Innings Pitched 16.0
10.05 Earned Run Average 5.63
5 Walks 6
13 Strikeouts 6
2.30 WHIP 1.75

B. Maurer
Probable Pitchers
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Houston3rd AL West8376.522115-5 L 1
Seattle2nd AL West8574.53596-4 W 2

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Apr 8SEAOAK 3-2Doolittle Cishek 
Apr 9SEAOAK 6-1Hill Karns 
Apr 10SEAOAK 2-1Axford Vincent 
May 2OAKSEA 4-3Karns Graveman 
May 3OAKSEA 8-2Iwakuma Gray 
May 4OAKSEA 9-8Montgomery Axford 
May 23SEAOAK 5-0Hill Walker 
May 24SEASEA 6-5Montgomery Madson 
May 25SEASEA 13-3Iwakuma Neal 
Aug 12OAKOAK 6-3Manaea Wieland 
Aug 13OAKSEA 4-3Iwakuma Graveman 
Aug 14OAKSEA 8-4LeBlanc Neal 
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Sep 11OAKSEA 3-2Cishek Madson 
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Oct 1SEA 9:10 PM EDT  
Oct 2SEA 3:10 PM EDT