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Game Thread #99: A's vs. Astros

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Rob Carr

It's time to have A's baseball played on a regular basis again. Coming out of the All-Star Break and a Monday off-day, Oakland has played just three games in the last nine days. Fresh off a series win against first-place Baltimore, the A's will get something of an easier test to close out the brief homestand: three games against the Houston Astros, who are out of the cellar for the first time in what seems like a very, very long time. That said, the Astros' leap into fourth place in the AL West is more a result of the Rangers' epic, injury-induced collapse — Houston is making very good progress, but it isn't quick.

Tonight, the A's certainly have the advantage on paper. Oakland's first-half ace, Scott Kazmir (11-3, 2.38 ERA), will take the hill in his first appearance since the All-Star Break, opposing Astros southpaw Brett Oberholtzer (2-7, 4.50). Accordingly, the A's have just one lefty in the lineup — Brandon Moss — which features three right-handed platoon players in Craig Gentry, Nate Freiman, Derek Norris, along with heart-of-the-order mainstays. Nick Punto is playing second base, and though Josh Reddick was brought back to Oakland today, he's out of the lineup against the lefty.

First pitch is at 7:05pm!

Today's Lineups

HOUSTON ASTROS OAKLAND A'S
Jose Altuve - 2B Coco Crisp - CF
Enrique Hernandez - CF Craig Gentry - RF
Chris Carter - DH Yoenis Cespedes - LF
Matt Dominguez - 3B Josh Donaldson - 3B
Jesus Guzman - 1B Derek Norris - C
Jason Castro - C Jed Lowrie - SS
Robbie Grossman - RF Brandon Moss - 1B
L.J. Hoes - LF Nate Freiman - DH
Marwin Gonzalez - SS Nick Punto - 2B