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Samardzija tries to bounce back for A's against Astros

( - Jeff Samardzija will try to rebound from his worst start in an Oakland uniform on Monday evening as the Athletics play the first of three straight against the Houston Astros.

Samardzija has gone 3-3 with a 4.07 earned run average in nine games with the Athletics since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs. Those numbers took a hit on Wednesday against the New York Mets, who tagged the right-hander for seven runs on seven hits -- including two homers -- and a pair of walks over just 3 2/3 innings.

Samardzija lost his second straight start and is set to face the Astros for the third time with Oakland. He beat them on July 24 at home with eight innings of one-run ball, then did not factor into a 7-4 win in Houston five days later. The 29-year-old allowed four runs over 6 2/3 innings.

Oakland won the first two games of a big weekend series with the Los Angeles Angels, but lost Sunday's finale 9-4 to fall a game back of the Angels for first place in the American League West.

Scott Kazmir struggled in the start, tagged for seven runs on 10 hits in three-plus innings of work.

"He just made some mistakes," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "Some balls were up, missed his location a few times."

The A's will visit the Angels for four games after this series with the Astros and will do so without closer Sean Doolittle, who landed on the 15-day disabled list before Sunday's game due to a intercostal strain.

Oakland also is expected to place catcher John Jaso on the seven-day concussion disabled list and in response acquired Geovany Soto from the Texas Rangers on Sunday for cash considerations. He is set to join the club today and serve as the backup to Derek Norris.

The A's take their swings tonight against right-hander Scott Feldman, who has won three of his last four starts and is coming off a 5-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

Feldman logged 6 2/3 innings of work, scattering two runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts. The 31-year-old improved to 7-9 with a 4.37 ERA on the year.

"It's always satisfying to get a win like that," said Feldman. "Guys that came in after me all did a great job."

Feldman is 0-1 with a 5.11 ERA in two starts against Oakland this year.

Houston lost two of three to Cleveland over the weekend, dropping Sunday's finale 3-1. The Astros had a chance to win it in the ninth inning, but the Indians' Cody Allen fanned Dexter Fowler with the based loaded to end the game.

"Offensively, we pretty much scuffled," Astros manager Bo Porter said.

Brett Oberholtzer allowed three runs on 10 hits with six strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings for Houston.

The A's won 15 of their 19 meetings with the Astros a season ago, going 8-1 in Houston, but own just an 8-5 edge in this year's series.

08/25 10:51:19 ET