Red-hot Chris Carter looks to homer for the fourth consecutive game when the Houston Astros open a four-game series against the visiting Texas Rangers on Thursday. Carter has been on a tear since July 4, belting 20 of his 33 homers to move one behind Baltimore's Nelson Cruz for the major-league lead. The Astros have reversed a trend of dominance by the Rangers in the series, winning seven of the past eight matchups while putting up an average of just under seven runs per game.Texas, which owns the worst record in the majors at 52-80, opened its 10-game road trip by taking two of three in Seattle for its third series win since the All-Star break. The Rangers were sitting at the .500 mark in mid-June but a disastrous 14-44 stretch sent them spiraling into the basement of the American League West. Rookie Rougned Odor provided one of the few highlights of the season in Wednesday's 12-4 win, becoming the youngest player to hit a grand slam since 2003.TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Texas), CSN HoustonPITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Nick Tepesch (4-8, 4.45 ERA) vs. Astros RH Collin McHugh (6-9, 3.02)Tepesch was finally starting to show some consistency with three straight solid outings in August before he was knocked around for six runs in a loss to Kansas City last time out. He had a pair of no-decisions in his previous two outings despite going seven innings and surrendering two runs in each. Tepesch is 2-0 with a 3.31 ERA in three career starts versus the Astros, holding them to a .210 batting average against.McHugh stretched his unbeaten streak to five starts by limiting Cleveland to two runs over 5 1/3 innings while not factoring in the decision in his last turn. He went 2-0 over his previous four starts, allowing one run and going at least six innings in each, and has yielded only one homer in his five starts this month. McHugh, who has never faced the Rangers, is 3-6 with a 4.07 ERA in 10 home starts this season.WALK-OFFS1. Carter has hit 12 homers in August and needs one more to tie Jeff Bagwell's franchise record for the most in one month.2. Rangers CF Leonys Martin is 22-for-50 with seven multi-hit games in his last 14.3. Houston is 13-23 in one-run games.PREDICTION: Astros 5, Rangers 3