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Game Thread #34: Oakland A’s at Houston Astros

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Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s dropped the first half of their Saturday doubleheader against the Houston Astros, and it didn’t help that the game excluded Oakland’s two best innings. The green and gold has made a habit of late comebacks against opposing bullpens, but doubleheader games this year are only seven innings each, so those final frames don’t even exist. Therefore, no late comeback when they fell behind early.

They’ll get another chance in the second game. Frankie Montas takes the hill, in search of his first good start since missing a turn to back tightness a couple weeks ago. He allowed nine runs and then four runs in his next two outings, and now he’ll have to face the toughest opponent in the division, on the road.

Even more daunting, he’ll be going against Zack Greinke, one of the best starters in the league. He pitched well against the A’s last time they faced, but Oakland came back against the pen to tie it and then won in extras — not really a viable strategy on this day.

On the bright side, we’ll get our first peek at new acquisition Tommy La Stella, who will bat second and look to set the table for the boppers. I’m not sure this is the best use of his skills, since the dimension he brings to the lineup is his ability to not only get on base but specifically get hits, and that’s what the team really needs behind big OBP sluggers like Mark Canha and Matt Olson. We already know Olson isn’t driving anyone home, so what’s the point of putting a table-setter in front of him?

First pitch is 4:05 p.m., with the following options to watch or listen:

  • TV: NBC Sports California
  • Radio: 960 AM
  • Online video stream: fuboTV
  • Online audio stream: iHeartRadio

A’s lineup (away)

  1. CF Ramon Laureano (R)
  2. 2B Tommy La Stella (L)
  3. SS Matt Chapman (R)
  4. DH Mark Canha (R)
  5. 1B Matt Olson (L)
  6. LF Robbie Grossman (S)
  7. RF Stephen Piscotty (R)
  8. C Jonah Heim (S)
  9. 3B Vimael Machin (L)
  • Frankie Montas, RHP

First look at La Stella, and ... Chapman at shortstop? YES I’M HERE FOR IT. Let’s see how this goes. Also, Heim and Machin get turns at the bottom of the order.

Astros lineup (home)

  1. CF George Springer (R)
  2. 2B Jose Altuve (R)
  3. LF Michael Brantley (L)
  4. 1B Yuli Gurriel (R)
  5. DH Kyle Tucker (L)
  6. SS Carlos Correa (R)
  7. RF Josh Reddick (L)
  8. 3B Aledmys Diaz (R)
  9. C Martin Maldonado (R)
  • Zack Greinke, RHP

Maldonado catching again, like a boss. Diaz takes over at 3B, after being activated from the injured list today.

Let’s Go Oakland!