Fiers gets the call in finale vs. Twins

Fiers gets the call in finale vs. Twins

The Astros have pretty much had the Twins' number this season, with Houston winning the first four games before Minnesota prevailed on Saturday. They conclude a three-game series at Minute Maid Park on Sunday and will not meet again in the regular season.

"[Friday's 10-5 loss] was a tough game for us to start the series," said Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson, who will start Sunday's finale. "But Houston is a really good team, and we know that, and we know that come playoff time, if this is the team we're playing, it's a five-game series."

Gibson, who will oppose Houston right-hander Mike Fiers, is coming off a loss in his previous start, on July 9 at Baltimore, in which he allowed seven runs in four innings. Fiers is also coming off a loss, having given up three runs on five hits over six innings in a 7-2 loss at Toronto.

Prior to Saturday, Houston had won seven straight games over Minnesota dating back to last season, and six straight games by at least five runs.

"We're facing a lineup that puts up runs at a tremendous pace," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "You hope you can quiet that a little and hold them down and give your offense a chance to win a game."

Added Gibson, whose club next plays the Yankees, Tigers and Dodgers: "This 10-to-15-game stretch is going to tell us a lot about our team. It's going to challenge us. As a team we're confident about how we can play. We've played a lot of solid baseball."

Three things to know about this game

• With Yuli Gurriel's two-base hit on Saturday, the Astros have doubled in a franchise-record 48 consecutive games, far surpassing their previous high of 38, set from July 27 to Sept. 6, 1977. The streak is the third longest in MLB history (since 1913), trailing only a 75-game run by the 1996 Indians and a 51-game streak by the 1999 Braves.

• In his only start at Minute Maid Park, on Aug. 13, 2014, Gibson earned the win, allowing only one run over 7 2/3 innings.

• The Astros have scored eight or more runs in four separate innings this season, including twice against the Twins.

Richard Dean is a contributor to based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.