Every time Rubby De La Rosa has taken the hill at Fenway Park this season, his stuff has been electric and his success undeniable.
The Red Sox right-hander's numbers in five starts are impressive. He's gone 3-1 with a 1.97 ERA, allowing just one run or fewer in three of those starts. He's also held opponents to a .219 average.
De La Rosa will shoot for that same kind of success Saturday against the Astros.
While most of the right-hander's success has come at home, he's turned things around on the road as of late. In his previous outing against the Angels, De La Rosa went seven innings, allowing one run on five hits for his first win on the road this season.
"As he settled into a rhythm, he was able to add and subtract to his fastball and always has that changeup," manager John Farrell said after the start. "Overall, the confidence is really showing through."
Meanwhile, right-hander Brad Peacock goes for the Astros in his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
In his last outing against the Twins, Peacock allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits in five innings in a no-decision. He labored in those five frames, throwing 115 pitches.
"When you look at the pitch count after that first inning, you didn't think he'd made it through five," manager Bo Porter said after the start. "He found a way to make it through five innings. It was better command, but at the same time it was a lot of deep counts. There was some high leverage to those innings as well."
Peacock doesn't have fond memories of facing the Red Sox. He recorded just one out in a start July 13 before being lifted with the bases loaded. In total, he allowed one run on two hits for the loss.
"I might try to throw a little bit more in the bullpen. I need to go out there and throw my offspeed pitches for strikes and get my fastball over," Peacock said. "Just good command is going to help me out. This first inning thing has been going on for the past couple of starts. I'm going to get it out of my head and just go pitch."
Astros: Downs has right oblique soreness
• Left-handed reliever Darren Downs will take a few days to rest as he deals with discomfort in his right oblique.
The injury concerned the Astros enough that they called up left-hander Kevin Chapman from Triple-A on Friday.
Downs is unsure of when and how it happened. He faced three batters Thursday against the Red Sox, walking two and giving up a run.
"It came on a combination of probably a few pitches," he said. "Just kind of tightened up, a little cramp, and it got a little worse."
Red Sox: Craig progressing
• Outfielder Allen Craig could be back on the field as early as Monday, when he starts a Minor League rehab assignment.
"We're hopeful that he goes out on a rehab assignment early this coming week, possibly as early as Monday," Farrell said. "He came out of [Thursday's] work of full BP, and some running in the outfield in good fashion. And he'll go through three more days of work prior to heading out."
The outfielder, who was acquired at the Trade Deadline from the Cardinals, has played only one game with the Red Sox. He sprained his left foot running the bases Aug. 1.
• The Red Sox are 43-0 when leading after eight innings, making them them the only team in the Majors that has not lost when ahead entering the ninth.
• De La Rosa is making his first start against the Astros since June 18, 2011, with the Dodgers. In that game, he allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings.
• With 48 homers, the Astros are second in the Majors in that category since July 1.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.