After an off day Thursday, the Oakland Athletics will head back out on the road where they will begin a seven-game road trip Friday with a three-game series against the Houston Astros. Lefty Ken Waldichuk will get the start for Oakland while Houston will go with right-hander Brandon Bielak.
The A’s just completed a 2-5 homestand and are 10-35 for the season. Houston comes into the series playing well having won four straight to improve to 24-19 and are two games back of the Rangers in the AL West standings.
Like most of Oakland’s pitchers, Waldichuk has had a tough start to the season. He enters Friday’s start with a 7.02 ERA and a 7.25 FIP in 41 innings. He’s allowed 12 homers which is tied for the third most in the majors. Waldichuk allowed seven hits and four runs (three earned) in five innings in his last start against Texas. He walked five in that outing and has issued 11 free passes over his last 10 innings.
Bielak was promoted to the majors two weeks ago when Jose Urquidy landed on the injured list. He made one relief appearance before joining the rotation. He is coming off of his best appearance of the season where he allowed eight hits and one run over five innings against the White Sox.
Esteury Ruiz put together a solid homestand going 10-for-34 at the plate with three doubles and a home run, to go along with three walks and another hit by pitch. He stole three more bases and leads the majors with 20. It has been a tough season at the plate for Nick Allen overall, but he trended up during the homestand going 9-for-24 with his first home run of the season. Ramon Laureano homered twice, but also has 12 strikeouts over his last six games.
Game Date/Time: Friday, May 19, 5:10 p.m. PDT
Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
Radio: A’s Cast, Bloomberg 960 AM / 103.7 HD2