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Game Thread #40: Oakland A’s vs. Houston Astros

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Second half of a doubleheader

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MLB: San Diego Padres at Oakland Athletics Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Well this series is going nicely so far. How about another game?

The Oakland A’s won the first two of this five-game set against the Houston Astros, including the first half of the doubleheader today. Now comes the nightcap, and a chance to push the AL West division lead up to 6.5 games with another head-to-head win.

The two teams have played 16 innings so far, and the Astros have scored in one of them, thanks to a homer by Michael Brantley earlier today that briefly tied the game in the bottom of the 5th (but Oakland retook the lead in the top of the 6th). Now Houston will have to contend with Mike Minor, making his first start for the A’s after being acquired from the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline.

Minor hasn’t faced the Astros yet this summer, but he did see them four times last year with mixed results. He had one great outing and three mediocre ones, twice lasting only five frames, and he allowed six homers — two to Alex Bregman, and one each to Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Yuli Gurriel, and George Springer. Of course, Bregman, Altuve, and Alvarez aren’t in the lineup at all for this game, as the latter two are on the injured list and Bregman was only just activated from a pulled hammy today and will sit after playing in the first game.

Meanwhile, the A’s will see Chase De Jong, making a spot start for Houston. This is just the second appearance of the year for the 26-year-old, and only the 14th of his MLB career. Three of those outings came against the A’s, though, as a member of the Mariners (2017) and Twins (2018), including two decent spot starts and one relief stint of four scoreless innings.

Alex Bregman and Marcus Semien are both out after playing in the first game, as they ease back in from minor injuries. Khris Davis is still in after whatever the opposite of an injury is — a homer, double, and two RBI in the first game.

First pitch is 6:10ish 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 (home)

  1. 3B Tommy La Stella (L)
  2. 2B Tony Kemp (L)
  3. CF Ramon Laureano (R)
  4. 1B Matt Olson (L)
  5. LF Robbie Grossman (S)
  6. DH Khris Davis (R)
  7. RF Mark Canha (R)
  8. SS Vimael Machin (L)
  9. C Jonah Heim (S)
  • Mike Minor, LHP

Kemp in the second hole to replace Semien, and Machin back in at shortstop. Davis moves up to sixth after his big game this afternoon.

Astros lineup (away)

  1. DH George Springer (R)
  2. CF Myles Straw (R)
  3. LF Michael Brantley (L)
  4. 1B Yuli Gurriel (R)
  5. RF Kyle Tucker (L)
  6. SS Carlos Correa (R)
  7. 2B Aledmys Diaz (R)
  8. 3B Abraham Toro (S)
  9. C Dustin Garneau (R)
  • Chase De Jong, RHP

No Bregman, and no Reddick, who is also a bit banged up this week. This is the least intimidating Astros lineup we’ve seen in a long time, though there’s still enough there to do some damage.

Let’s Go Oakland!