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A's rely on Pomeranz versus Astros

( - Drew Pomeranz will get back to work when the Oakland Athletics wrap up a three-game series against the Houston Astros Wednesday at Minute Maid Park.

Pomeranz is 5-4 in 17 games (8 starts) and hasn't pitched since a 14-8 loss to the Texas Rangers on June 16 when he was charged with eight runs (7 earned) in 3 2/3 innings. He suffered a broken right hand when he punched a chair and is hoping to earn a permanent spot in the rotation.

The left-hander had a 3.69 ERA in eight starts at the Triple-A level and is winless (0-1) in two career games (1 start) against the Astros.

Oakland, which is one game behind the LA Angels for the AL West lead, hopes Pomeranz can pitch the club back on track following a 4-2 loss On Tuesday. Jason Hammel held the Astros to a run in seven innings, but Luke Gregerson gave up a three-run homer to Chris Carter in the eighth to absorb the loss.

"That's a tough team to play in those later innings because they can grind back," said A's outfielder Jonny Gomes. "You want to try and have more than a one-run lead."

Gomes had two hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Nate Freiman knocked in a run for the A's, who won Monday's opener by an 8-2 score and had prevailed in four of the previous six contests.

Oakland went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base.

The Athletics will begin another crucial four-game series in Anaheim on Thursday and are 34-31 as the visitor this season.

Houston ended a three-game slide with Tuesday's come-from-behind win, as Carter's blast sent the fans home happy.

"As soon as he hit it and I looked at it, I knew it was gone," said Astros starter Dallas Keuchel about Carter's home run. "He doesn't need much to hit it out, and that one was gone the moment it left his bat."

Keuchel was reached for two runs -- one earned -- and five hits in seven innings for the no-decision and Josh Fields picked up the win with a scoreless eighth inning. Chad Qualls posted his 15th save in the ninth.

Brad Peacock draws the start for the Astros Wednesday and he is 3-8 with a 5.30 earned run average. Peacock is 0-3 in his last six appearances and tossed five innings of one-run ball in a 5-1 win at Cleveland on Friday.

The right-handed Peacock has faced Oakland six times in his career and is 1-3 with a 5.83 ERA.

Houston will host Texas for four games after this set with Oakland.

The A's won 15 of their 19 meetings with the Astros a season ago, going 8-1 in Houston, but own just a 9-6 edge in this year's series.

08/27 10:13:44 ET

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