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Old 07-11-2018, 08:52 AM
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Preview: Athletics at Astros
Gracenote
Jul 11, 2018

The Oakland Athletics had another character-building win snatched from them last time out and will try to rebound when they visit the American League West-leading Houston Astros for the third contest of their four-game series on Wednesday. The Athletics rallied for four runs in the ninth inning to forge a tie and took the lead in the 11th before coughing it up in a 6-5 setback on Tuesday - their ninth defeat in 11 contests against Houston this season.

Oakland, which is chasing Seattle for the second wild-card spot in the AL, still has recorded 11 wins in its last 14 contests and slugger Khris Davis has hit safely in a career-high 12 straight games - going 18-for-49 during the streak. Lance McCullers Jr. seeks his fourth victory over the Athletics this season (four runs allowed in 19 innings) when he takes the mound for the Astros on Wednesday against Chris Bassitt. Houston has won seven of its last eight contests overall after Alex Bregman belted a pair of homers Tuesday and hit a grounder that led to an error and plated the winning run as the Astros improved to 7-2 this month. Jose Altuve (10-for-29) and Yuli Gurriel (11-for-26) each bring seven-game hitting streaks into Wednesday’s contest for Houston.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, NBCS California (Oakland), AT&T SportsNet-Southwest (Houston)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Chris Bassitt (1-3, 3.00 ERA) vs. Astros RH Lance McCullers Jr. (10-3, 3.41)

Bassitt followed his first victory of the season with a no-decision against San Diego in which he gave up two runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. The 29-year-old Akron product blanked Detroit on two hits but issued five walks in his previous start on June 27 as the Athletics posted a 3-0 triumph. George Springer has homered in two career at-bats versus Bassitt, who allowed four runs - two earned - over 11 innings in two outings (one start) against Houston in 2015.

McCullers posted his seventh straight quality start on Friday, when he registered a career-high 12 strikeouts while allowing one run and three hits over seven innings to defeat the Chicago White Sox. The 24-year-old Floridian has given up one run over 14 frames in his last two outings and fanned 37 in his last four starts. Marcus Semien is 7-for-14 with three walks against McCullers, who is 4-1 with a 3.46 ERA in seven career starts versus the Athletics.

WALK-OFFS

1. Houston UTIL Marwin Gonzalez left Tuesday’s game with a bruised left wrist and elbow and is considered day-to-day.

2. Oakland INF Jed Lowrie has belted 16 homers this year, tying the career high he set in 2012 while with the Astros.

3. The Astros recalled OF Jake Marisnick from Triple-A Fresno and placed RHP Gerrit Cole on the bereavement list on Tuesday.

PREDICTION: Astros 6, Athletics 2
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