The Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros will begin a brief two-game series when they collide at O.co Coliseum in Oakland on Tuesday night. Houston has won nine games in a row on the heels of a 2-5 start. The Athletics had won four straight before falling at Texas on Sunday.
Sum of their parts
The Astros are riding a nine-game winning streak and are getting contributions from up and down the roster. They will try to keep things going at the expense of another American League West rival when they visit Oakland for two starting on Tuesday. Houston, which began its winning streak with a three-game sweep of Oakland at home, took three at Seattle over the weekend to begin the eight-game trip–with Aledmys Diaz’s seventh-inning home run proving to be the difference in Sunday’s 3-2 victory.
“You see a lot of stars on this team, but everybody is humble,” Diaz assured. “Everybody tries to push for the win. This is a great experience for me. I like being in this clubhouse.”
— Houston Astros (@astros) April 14, 2019
Right-hander Collin McHugh (2-1, 2.65 ERA) is taking the mound for Houston on Tuesday. McHugh surrendered two or fewer runs in each of his first three starts and owns 22 strikeouts in 17.0 total innings after fanning nine over 6.0 innings against the Yankees last Wednesday. The 31-year-old gave up his first homer of the season against the Yankees but limited the damage to two runs and four hits. McHugh was even better against Oakland on April 5, scattering one run and three hits over 6.0 innings to pick up the win.
Bats bashing the ball
The Athletics are tearing the cover off the ball, to the tune of 46 runs in the last five games. But they had a four-game winning streak come to an end with an 8-7 setback at Texas on Sunday. A red-hot Khris Davis leads the league with 10 homers but went 1-for-8 without an extra-base hit in two previous games against the Astros. Shortstop Marcus Semien hit safely in nine straight games and scored at least one run in each of the last eight.
Marco Estrada (0-1, 4.87 ERA) will oppose McHugh on Tuesday. The right-hander tossed 6.0 scoreless innings against the Angels on March 29 and was solid against Boston five days later before struggling against Baltimore last Monday. Estrada was ripped for six runs on nine hits–two homers–in 4.0 innings to suffer the loss against the Orioles. Estrada made two starts against Houston as a member of the Blue Jays last season and went 0-1 while allowing a total of seven earned runs and 15 hits in 9.2 innings.
The Houston Astros:
- 9-0 in their last nine overall
- 45-19 in their last 64 road games
- 20-7 in their last 27 games against the American League West
The Oakland Athletics are:
- 1-4 in their last five games against the American League West
- 1-5 in their last six games following an off day
- 2-5 in their last seven games against right-handed starters