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Game Thread #20: Oakland A's vs. Houston Astros

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The Houston Astros have never swept a series against the Oakland Athletics, and the A's hope to continue that run as they try to salvage this home series against the league-leading Houston Astros this afternoon, starting at 1:05 pm.

Flamingos are filter feeders which means they take in water and food, and then the water is expelled from the body. (Source: http://www.flamingos-world.com/)
Flamingos are filter feeders which means they take in water and food, and then the water is expelled from the body. (Source: http://www.flamingos-world.com/)
Harry How/Getty Images

Left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz has the start for the Oakland Athletics against the Houston Astros this afternoon, his fourth of the 2015 campaign. While Pomeranz continues to rack up the strikeouts with 17 in 17 innings, he continues to struggle with efficiency. He has twice reached the sixth inning but lifted after one batter, and in both of those games gave up four earned runs.

Even in his best start in which he gave up just two hits and walked nobody, he only threw seven innings pitched. I don't know what it is with Pomeranz and two strikes, but it seems to take forever to him to get that swing-and-a-miss. His most recent start was the worse in that regard, getting just a 4.0% swing-and-miss rate, compared to 8.7% in his April 10 victory against the Seattle Mariners.

For the Astros, Pomeranz is opposed by right-hander Asher Wojciechowski (Whoa-juh-house-key). Wojciechowski appeared in relief against the A's instead of making his scheduled start during Oakland's trip to Minute Maid Park. He faced 15 batters over four innings and gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out four while saving the bullpen in a blowout loss. In 12 innings, he has a 6.00 ERA and he has failed to record an out in the fifth inning of both of his starts.

With a base hit today, Jose Altuve would stand alone with the second-longest hitting streak against the A's in history. His current 28-game hit streak ties David Segui (1998-2000). The record of 30 games is held by Luke Appling.

Out of market fans should take note that today's game is the MLB.TV free game.

Today's Lineups

HOUSTON ASTROS OAKLAND A'S
Jose Altuve - 2B Sam Fuld - CF
George Springer - RF Marcus Semien - SS
Jed Lowrie - SS Stephen Vogt - C
Evan Gattis - DH Billy Butler - DH
Chris Carter - 1B Ike Davis - 1B
Colby Rasmus - LF Josh Reddick - RF
Marwin Gonzalez - 3B Brett Lawrie - 3B
Jason Castro - C Eric Sogard - 2B
Jake Marisnick - CF Craig Gentry - LF

Brett Lawrie returns to the lineup after Max Muncy made his major league debut Saturday. Craig Gentry beats out Cody Ross and Mark Canha as the "So you have to start a right-handed batting outfielder."

First pitch is at 1:05 PM!