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Game Thread #39: Oakland A’s vs. Houston Astros

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First half of a doubleheader

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Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros - Game Two Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After a couple days of triple-digit heat in the East Bay, and the hottest temperature ever for a first pitch at the Colisem (94 degrees), it should stay in double-digits today. It’s a great day for a ball game; let’s play two!

The Oakland A’s beat the Houston Astros on Monday in the opener of their five-game series together, but now they’re back for a pair of seven-inning contests on Tuesday. The A’s will need to play like they did on Monday, scoring early against the starter and keeping the pressure on throughout, because if they fall behind then there won’t be any late innings for them to mount a comeback.

That task will be all the more difficult with Zack Greinke on the hill. He pitched one half of these teams’ previous doubleheader together the weekend before last, and showed exactly how an ace starter can dominate a seven-inning affair. By the time he was done firing five decent frames, the game was pretty much over, so imagine what’ll happen if he’s cruising and putting up zeroes like he did against Oakland in early August — for six innings, before the Astros bullpen came in and blew it, which is exactly what there won’t be the opportunity for this time around.

Meanwhile, the A’s turn to Frankie Montas, who has allowed 18 runs in 9⅔ innings over three appearances since missing a start to back tightness. However, due to the team’s coronavirus layoff, he got a 10-day break since his last outing, so we’ll see if he can bounce back after some extended rest.

In the lineups, two of last year’s top three AL MVP finishers are back in action in their respective infields after minor injuries: Alex Bregman for the Astros, and Marcus Semien for the A’s.

Oh, and this is a makeup of a game from Houston, so the Astros will play as the home team and bat last even though they’re physically at the Coliseum.

First pitch is 3:10 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, technically on paper)

  1. 2B Tommy La Stella (L)
  2. SS Marcus Semien (R)
  3. CF Ramon Laureano (R)
  4. 1B Matt Olson (L)
  5. LF Robbie Grossman (S)
  6. RF Mark Canha (R)
  7. DH Khris Davis (R)
  8. 3B Chad Pinder (R)
  9. C Sean Murphy (R)
  • Frankie Montas, RHP

Semien is back! For this first game, that is. La Stella stays in the leadoff spot, though, and Laureano stays up high with Matt Chapman out (and Pinder covering at third). The forgotten man Davis gets back in there for a turn.

Astros lineup (home, but at the Coliseum)

  1. CF George Springer (R)
  2. 3B Alex Bregman (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. C Martin Maldonado (R)
  9. 2B Jack Mayfield (R)
  • Zack Greinke, RHP

Bregman is back, which takes the whole lineup up a notch. Reddick is able to move back down to seventh.

Let’s Go Oakland!