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Astros try to slug their way to series win over Twins

(SportsNetwork.com) - Lose a slugger, no problem. Another one steps up for the Houston Astros.

Just hours after the team said rookie George Springer would miss some more time with a quad injury that was subsequently aggravated in a rehab assignment, Chris Carter blasted two more home runs to continue a stretch that's been the best in the majors since July 1.

Houston pitcher Brett Oberholtzer will hope for that sort of run support on Wednesday afternoon when he aims for a third straight win as the Astros wrap up a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Minute Maid Park.

Springer has 20 home runs in his initial 78 games, but hasn't played since July 19.

Carter's two homers on Tuesday gave him six in the last six games and 15 since the beginning of July. He has a team-high 28 home runs on the season.

The multi-homer game on Tuesday was his sixth of the season, which tied Lance Berkman's team record from 2006. Carter had a career-best 29 home runs last season.

"He had it in spurts last year," manager Bo Porter said. "So you would say to yourself, 'At some point, when it all comes together and everything clicks and we start to get consistency to this, it can be scary.' And that's what we're seeing right now."

The Astros had managed just four runs on 15 hits in two losses before breaking out with 12 hits on Tuesday.

Oberholtzer had won two straight starts before his last outing on Friday against Texas, but allowed two runs in seven innings to get a no-decision in a game Houston won, 4-3.

He's 2-0 with a 2.91 earned run average in his last five starts and has never started against Minnesota.

The Twins counter with right-hander Kyle Gibson, who'd had two straight unbeaten starts before allowing six runs and walking five in a 6-5 loss to Oakland on Friday.

In the two previous wins, he'd allowed three runs in 14 innings.

Against Houston on June 7, he tossed seven scoreless innings in an 8-0 win.

Gibson will be backed by a streaking Joe Mauer, who's pushed a hit streak to 14 games, one off his career-best run from 2008.

On Tuesday, Carter homered twice and knocked in five, as the Astros pounded the Twins, 10-4. Jose Altuve went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored for the Astros, who recovered from dropping a 4-2 decision in Monday's opener to win for the third time in five overall.

Jake Marisnick homered among his two hits and crossed home twice, with Marwin Gonzalez hitting safely twice and scoring two runs for Houston.

The burst of offense buttressed starter Collin McHugh (5-9), who allowed one run on four hits over six effective innings.

Oswaldo Arcia accounted for three RBI on two home runs and Kennys Vargas added a solo shot for the Twins, whose two-game win streak came to an end.

Yohan Pino (1-5) was tagged in defeat for seven hits and as many runs, despite fanning seven, in just 4 1/3 frames.

08/13 10:38:44 ET

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