(Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics hope to pad their slim lead atop the
AL West when they resume a four-game series versus the Houston Astros Saturday
at the Coliseum.
The A's grabbed a half-game lead on the Texas Rangers in the division with
Friday's 7-5 win, coupled by a Texas loss to the LA Angels.
Josh Donaldson went 3-for-5 with a home run and three runs scored and Jed
Lowrie added two hits and two RBI. Yoenis Cespedes and Nate Freiman had two
hits and an RBI apiece for the Athletics, who have won nine of 12 games to
reclaim AL West bragging rights.
"It doesn't matter until the end of the season, we know that too well,"
Donaldson said. "We're really not trying to focus on it right now. We're
trying to take care of our business."
A.J. Griffin earned the win even though he gave up four runs in six innings
and Grant Balfour picked up his 37th save in the ninth.
Taking the mound for Oakland Saturday will be Dan Straily, who has won
consecutive outings and is 8-7 with a 4.38 ERA in 23 starts. The right-hander
won his only career start against the Astros back on April 5, when he fanned
11 batters and gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings of an 8-3 win.
Houston had won two straight and three of five games until Friday's loss.
Matt Dominguez plated two runs and Jonathan Villar and Jose Altuve contributed
an RBI and a run scored apiece for the Astros, while starting pitcher Dallas
Keuchel gave up five runs on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings to fall to 0-4 in his
last seven starts.
"We had a good game plan going in," Keuchel told the club's website. "I felt
like the slider was keeping them in check early in the count because they like
to hack. Some of those base hits were just because they're strong enough to
get them through the hole. It's just one of those days where nothing was going
right and everything was going wrong."
The Astros are 1-1 on a seven-game road trip and will hand the ball to Brett
Oberholtzer Saturday. Oberholtzer is 4-1 with a 2.79 ERA in nine games (6
starts) during his rookie campaign and went the distance in a 2-0 win over
Seattle on Sunday. He scattered four hits, fanned five batters and walked one.
Oberholtzer, a left-hander, has never faced the Athletics.
Oakland is 13-4 against the Astros this season.
The Sports Network