The opening homestand looked intimidating for a young Astros team that's trying to find its footing, with three games against the free-spending Yankees and four others against the star-laden Angels.
Win on Monday, and they will have finished it with a 4-3 record.
"That would be great," said Astros catcher Jason Castro, whose team will then venture on a six-game road trip through Toronto and Arlington. "Obviously, to come out ahead on the opening homestand would be great. It would set the tone for going on the road and that's the kind of baseball we're looking to play. We did it against the Yankees early, the first couple, and we did it again today. If we can jump out ahead and keep the pressure on all game, that's what we're looking for."
With a chance to split the four-game set against the Angels on Monday, on the heels of a 7-4 win that was sparked by five homers and a stellar Scott Feldman outing, the Astros will send 23-year-old right-hander Jarred Cosart to the mound. Cosart is coming off throwing five scoreless innings against the Yankees and will oppose Angels lefty C.J. Wilson, who was charged with six runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Mariners in his 2014 debut.
The Angels desperately need a good start this season, after sporting the fourth-worst April winning percentage in the Majors the previous two years, and winning this series is crucial.
"We're just trying to come together and play as a team," Wilson said. "That's what's important to happen. But at the end of the day, if you're not getting the job done, you're not getting the job done. And everybody's accountable for that because this is the Major Leagues. We're not in Double-A, we're not in Triple-A, we're not in Spring Training anymore. These are real games. We need to put our best foot forward and try to win every night, and when we don't do that, we don't sleep well. Nobody on the team is happy."
Angels: No specific battery pairings
Hank Conger caught 24 of Wilson's 35 starts last year, with Chris Iannetta, pretty much considered the everyday catcher, behind the plate for the other 11. But Wilson had a 3.36 ERA with Conger and a 3.46 ERA with Iannetta, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he isn't pairing Conger exclusively with Wilson.
"That's not a factor," said Scioscia, who started Conger on Sunday. "Either catcher is fine with me."
Astros: Houston thankful for Presley move
The Astros were going to carry 13 pitchers to enter the season, until they claimed outfielder Alex Presley off waivers just before Opening Day. And with Dexter Fowler's status still uncertain -- he's out of the hospital after battling a stomach virus, but manager Bo Porter isn't sure if he'll make the trip to Toronto -- Presley has had to step up as a quasi-everyday player.
"It was definitely something you look at now," Porter said of acquiring Presley, who's 3-for-15 with a homer thus far. "Had we not made that decision, it would have been very difficult with everything that's happened to Dexter the last few days here."
• The Astros have scored in the first inning in five of their six games this year, for a total of nine runs.
• Angels first baseman Albert Pujols remains one RBI away from 1,500 for his career. When he gets it, he'll join Alex Rodriguez as the only active players to reach the milestone.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.