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Astros maximizing starting pitching talent

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KANSAS CITY -- Houston currently has an enviable problem: too much pitching.

With six starters vying for five spots, manager Bo Porter announced that his team will temporarily employ a six-man rotation.

Porter set his rotation for Houston's four-game home series with the Orioles. Brad Peacock goes Thursday, with Brett Oberholtzer following him Friday. Dallas Keuchel (Saturday) and Scott Feldman (Sunday) will fill the weekend slots.

Keuchel, Feldman, Collin McHugh and Jarred Cosart are locks for the rotation, with the upcoming starts from Peacock and Oberholtzer presumably serving as auditions for the final spot.

"Good pitching is always a good problem to have," Porter said. "I'll take eight of them, we'll find somewhere for them to pitch."

Rookie sensation George Springer deserves a lion's share of the credit for the Astros' recent surge, but without solid starting pitching of late, Houston's 10-5 record in its last 15 games would not be possible.

In the last 23 games since May 5, the rotation's ERA sits at 3.18.

"Our starting pitching has been tremendous," Porter said. "I think it's contagious; the next guy up feels like they want to out-do the guy who threw the night before or the day before."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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