The Astros left-hander will make his first Major League start, looking to prevent a sweep against the Rangers. In 13 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, Keuchel has gone 5-4 with a 4.26 ERA. Those stats, though, are skewed by back-to-back outings in May in which he gave up 19 earned runs in 7 2/3 innings.
"Aside from those two starts on the West Coast, I think it's been pretty good," Keuchel said. "I'm commanding the ball right now and doing all the things I want to do, so I'm pretty pleased."
Those two games have accounted for half of Keuchel's earned runs this season, as he's allowed just 19 in his other 11 games.
Keuchel will start in place of Bud Norris, who's out with a sprained right knee and could be headed for the disabled list.
Meanwhile, the Rangers will counter with right-hander Colby Lewis, who has found his stride as of late. Lewis hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in his last three starts and has lasted at least eight innings in two of those games.
His best performance of the year came in his last start, when Lewis (5-5) pitched a complete game against Arizona, allowing just one earned run and four hits while striking out seven and retiring the first 16 batters he faced.
Sunday will mark Lewis' second outing against Houston this season, having already shut down the Astros for one run and four hits in eight innings on May 20. In eight games (five starts) against Houston, Lewis is 3-1 and holds a 1.80 ERA.
Lewis said he doesn't plan on taking a complicated approach into Sunday. Instead, he wants to attack the Astros hitters.
"I just want to go out there and pound the strike zone, not give any free passes away," he said. "You try to keep guys off the basepaths because then they try to put together at-bats and grind more. That's when you find that big innings happen. I'm just trying to keep them off the basebaths and make them earn it."
The Rangers, who are seeking a sweep, have won four of five games from the Astros heading into the finale between the future American League West rivals. With Saturday's 8-3 win, the Rangers claimed the Silver Boot trophy for the sixth straight year.
Astros: Lee activated from DL
After going on the disabled list two weeks ago for just the second time in his career, first baseman Carlos Lee will return on Sunday. The Astros activated him after Saturday's game after he went 5-for-10 in three games on a rehab assignment at Double-A Corpus Christi. Brett Wallace was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Lee was batting .297 with 23 RBIs and four home runs before going on the DL with a strained hamstring.
"He's not hitting for as much power, but he's at least a threat because of what he's capable of doing, and he can reach the seats," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "He doesn't swing and miss very much and doesn't strike out a whole lot."
Rangers: Current expectations not high for Martin
Although manager Ron Washington sees Leonys Martin as the "future" of the club, his expectations for the outfielder in the near future are not too high.
Martin, who was called up from Triple-A Round Rock in the place of injured reliever Koji Uehara, went 0-for-3 in Friday's 6-2 win over the Astros. He went 3-for-8 in eight games with the club last season, but for now, Washington isn't expecting the world from Martin.
"Come and play. That's it," Washington said when asked about what he wants from Martin. "When we brought him, we felt like maybe he would only be here one day. We've got a feel for Martin. ... I just wanted him to go out there and have fun and play."
One day after entering the hospital with an intestinal virus, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton returned home on Saturday. He is expected to work out on Sunday, but he won't start, according to Washington.
Houston has hit 11 home runs in seven games on the current road trip.