(Sports Network) - Winners in seven of their last eight contests, the Oakland
Athletics attempt to secure a three-game series sweep of the Houston Astros on
Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.
The sticks were working early and often for the Athletics on Saturday night,
as they finished with a season-high 18 hits on their way to dismissing the
Josh Donaldson finished 4-for-4 with a home run and two RBI, raising his
average to .322 in the process.
"My goal every day is to go out there and put good at-bats together,"
Donaldson said. "The last two games or so I have felt a little bit more
overaggressive. I was trying to be a little more patient tonight and get a
good pitch to hit. They fell behind me a couple of time, and I was able to get
a pitch to hit."
Chris Young, who had three hits and the game-winning home run on Friday night,
collected three more hits on Saturday. Seth Smith and Coco Crisp also had
three-hit days for the Athletics, and every batter had at least one RBI.
The run support was more than enough for A.J. Griffin (5-3) to work with, as
he allowed five hits, a walk and four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings while
striking out seven.
Oakland has yet to lose to Houston in eight contests this season.
Lucas Harrell (3-6) was torched in the loss, yielding six earned runs while
failing to make it out of the second inning. Harrell has now dropped four
straight decisions after winning his previous three.
"There's pretty much only two things to say about the game: It's embarrassing
and it's frustrating," Harrell said. "That's pretty much all I have to say."
Jason Castro and Matt Dominguez each belted a pair of homers for the Astros.
Jose Altuve also had two hits on the night.
Fresh off one of his strongest outings of the season, Bartolo Colon will
attempt to hammer down the series for the Athletics on Sunday afternoon. After
earning the win on May 20 on the road against Texas (7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER), Colon
improved to 4-2 on the season with a 4.31 ERA.
The veteran right-hander, who turned 40 years old on Friday, defeated the
Astros back on April 17, allowing just one earned run and four hits over six
innings of work. He's now 5-2 with a 3.42 ERA in eight career starts versus
Taking the hill for Houston will be Dallas Keuchel, who is 1-1 with a 4.93 in
nine combined appearances between the bullpen and the starting rotation.
The 25-year-old left-hander got the nod on May 20 against the Royals and
earned his only win of the young season, pitching 6 2/3 innings allowing nine
hits, four walks and four earned runs while striking out six.
Keuchel made two relief appearances against Oakland in April, surrendering
just one earned run over six innings.
The Sports Network