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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 26th (All times Eastern)
Oakland Athletics (15-8) at Houston Astros (7-17), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Oakland - Dan Straily (1-1, 5.40) Houston - Dallas Keuchel (2-1, 3.38)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oakland Athletics have certainly frustrated the Houston Astros this season and the two AL West rivals resume a four-game series on Saturday night.
Oakland has won eight straight meetings with Houston, including a three-game sweep at home last weekend. That after the Athletics took 15 of 19 from the Astros a season ago.
The A's plated 19 runs in last weekend's sweep, then took Thursday's opener by a 10-1 margin. The runs kept coming on Friday night, with Oakland snapping a tie contest with a seven-run ninth inning on the way to a 12-5 triumph.
Daric Barton started the big frame with a single that plated Brandon Moss, Alberto Callaspo and Craig Gentry, with George Springer's fielding error on the play helping all three runners score.
Josh Donaldson later capped the big frame with a two-out, two-run homer for his third longball of this four-game series.
"He's very important to us," A's manager Bob Melvin said about Donaldson.
Jose Altuve had three hits and an RBI for the Astros, losers of three straight and 10 of their past 12.
Things got a bit heated in the final frame, one that saw Brandon Moss hit twice in the same inning by Houston pitchers.
Oakland hurler Fernando Abad responded by plunking Jason Castro in the bottom of the ninth and after warnings were issued, Houston manager Bo Porter was ejected for arguing.
"Obviously they have to have some feel and know that we aren't trying to hit the guy with two outs and two strikes," said Castro. "The guy was hit earlier. He stands as close as you possibly can stand without being out of the batter's box."
Oakland hurler Dan Straily will get the call tonight looking to put some recent struggles behind him and has a good opportunity to do so given his success versus Houston in two previous starts. He won both of those games while giving up two runs and zero homers while striking out 18 over 13 2/3 innings.
The right-hander has struggled in consecutive no-decisions after opening the season 1-1 in two starts with a 2.77 earned run average. Straily was blasted for six runs on seven hits over just 3 2/3 innings at the L.A. Angels on April 15, then yielded three runs on six hits and two walks over just five frames versus the Texas Rangers on Monday.
Straily, 25, has yielded five home runs in his four starts and his season ERA is up to 5.40.
The Astros hope that left-hander Dallas Keuchel can secure a third straight winning decision this evening.
Keuchel is 2-0 over his last three starts and has yielded five earned runs in that time since opening the season with a setback to the Los Angeles Angels, who got to him for four runs over five frames.
The 26-year-old picked up a win on Monday in Seattle, yielding a pair of runs over six innings and striking out eight to move to 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA on the season.
Keuchel has never beaten Oakland, going 0-2 with a 5.48 ERA in five meetings, three of those starts.
04/26 10:49:54 ET
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