Oct 9, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Brett Anderson (49) pitches the ball against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning of game three of the 2012 ALDS at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

A's Go For Sweep Against Lowly Astros: Game Preview


The Oakland Athletics will be trying for their first series sweep of the season and their fifth win in a row when they go up against the Houston Astros today at Minute Maid Park in Houston.  First pitch is scheduled for 11:10 PST.

The A’s (4-2) have  used a familiar combination of power and pitching over this five-game win streak, and Brett Anderson will be on the mound to take care of the latter today, going for his first win after a solid outing on Opening Day against the Seattle Mariners.  Today shouldn’t be nearly as demanding as that game, as the Astros (1-4) are leading the entire league in strikeouts with 60 on the season so far.

Pitching for Houson will be Lucas Harrell, who last went up against Yu Darvish when the Astros played the Texas Rangers in the opening series of 2013.  Most will remember that game for Darvish’s perfect game that was spoiled with two outs in the ninth inning, but Harrell is a talented young pitcher in his own right, and the St. Louis Cardinals thought enough of the young right-hander to target him in a trade in the weeks before the start of the season.

It’ll be a tough task for Harrell today however, as the A’s are certainly clicking on offense.  Coco Crisp homered yesterday, making it two games in a row for him with a shot over the fence.  He’ll lead off the game today as the designated hitter, while Chris Young will start in center field.  Jed Lowrie will start at shortstop for Oakland, and he’ll bat fourth as Bob Melvin looks to take advantage of his hot bat in the cleanup spot.  After a 3-for-5 day yesterday that included a home run, Lowrie’s average is up to .476 with a slugging percentage of .952, and it’s safe to say that it’s going to be tough to supplant him in the starting lineup as the A’s have gotten exactly what they’ve needed from their biggest trade acquisition of the offseason.

Yoenis Cespedes will sit this one out after tweaking his elbow yesterday, but Melvin also stated that the break would hopefully get him out of his slump at the plate, as Cespedes is 3-for-23 on the year with nine strikeouts.  Seth Smith will get the start in left field in his place, the first start for Smith in the outfield this season.

The A’s head back to the West Coast tonight, with an off-day Monday followed by a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels.  Stay tuned after the game as we’ll be here with the story, and coming up Monday we’ll have a review of the first week of action for the A’s.  Enjoy the game.

 

LINEUPS

Oakland Athletics

1. C. Crisp             DH

2. J. Jaso                C

3. J. Reddick          RF

4. J. Lowrie            SS

5. B. Moss              1B

6. C. Young            CF

7. S. Smith              LF

8. J. Donaldson      3B

9. E. Sogard           2B

 

Houston Astros

1. J. Altuve             2B

2. J. Maxwell          CF

3. J. Martinez         LF

4. C. Carter            DH

5. B. Wallace         1B

6. C. Corporan        C

7. M. Dominguez   3B

8. B Barnes            RF

9. M. Gonzales      SS

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Tags: AL West Game Preview Houston Astros Oakland Athletics