American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, April 17th
(All times eastern)
Houston Astros (4-10) at Oakland Athletics (11-4), 3:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Bud Norris (2-1, 1.96)
Oakland - Bartolo Colon (1-0, 4.15)
(Sports Network) - Bud Norris tries to continue his strong start to the season
on Wednesday, as the Houston Astros attempt to salvage the finale of their
three-game series with the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum.
Norris bounced back from a loss to Oakland in Anaheim on Friday, as he held
the Angels to three hits over seven scoreless innings to run his record to
2-1, while lowering his ERA to 1.96.
Dating back to last season Norris is 4-1 with a 1.14 ERA over his last five
starts. Of course, that one loss was against the A's two starts ago when he
surrendered five runs (2 earned) in 5 2/3 innings.
Last year, Norris was 3-12 with a 6.94 ERA in 18 starts away from home.
Oakland, meanwhile, will pin its hopes on veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon,
who is 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA. Colon did not get a decision against the Detroit
Tigers on Friday, as he allowed three runs - all on a Prince Fielder home run
- and eight hits in seven innings. He also struck out five without walking a
"The whole game I felt good except for that one inning," Colon said. "I was
supposed to throw it to a different spot and I didn't get it there."
Colon beat the Astros in his first start of the year and is 4-2 lifetime
against them with a 3.66 ERA in seven starts.
Oakland moved to the brink of sweeping the Astros on Tuesday, as Josh
Donaldson's two-out triple in the eighth inning plated Josh Reddick to give
the Athletics a 4-3 win.
After Reddick drew a two-out walk, Donaldson lifted a 3-2 offering high down
the right field line. Astros right fielder Rick Ankiel made a play on the ball
but it landed inches from foul territory.
"Can't defend a ball that lands in fair territory by two or three inches,"
said Astros manager Bo Porter. "Fortunate for them, the ball landed in fair
territory and its a triple and an RBI."
Grant Balfour shut the door in the ninth for his second save of the season.
Eric Sogard went 3-for-3 and finished a home run shy of the cycle for Oakland,
which has won 11 of 13 after dropping its first two games of the season.
"The staff and everyone here takes pride in playing good defense," said
Donaldson. "We want to be back there for our pitchers."
A.J. Griffin struck out eight and allowed two runs in six innings of work for
the Athletics. Sean Doolittle (1-0), who allowed a game-tying home run to
Carlos Pena in the top of the eighth inning, picked up the win.
Rhiner Cruz (0-1) was on the hill for Donaldson's game-winner.
These teams met up in Houston from April 5-7, as Oakland earned a three-game
sweep after outscoring the Astros, 23-9, behind seven homers.
04/17 10:25:52 ET