The Oakland A’s look to even the series with the Houston Astros after dropping game one 3-2 as the offense was shutdown by former Oakland farmhand Brad Peacock.
“That’s as good as I’ve seen him pitch,” said manager Bob Melvin. “He was a true four-pitch pitcher last night.”
In game two of series, the A’s send out A.J. Griffin (12-9, 3.84). The right-hander will be making his team-leading 29th start, and in his last outing he collected the win as he went five inning and allowed one run. Griffin is 2-0 with a 4.50ERA in three career starts (all this year) against the Astros. None of the Houston hitters have more than nine at-bats against the A’s righty, but Jason Castro is 4-for-9 (.444) with two home runs. Griffin has offered up a Major League leading 33 long balls.
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (5-8, 4.77 ERA) takes the mound for the Astros. Keuchel last won on July 27, but he’s pitched seven innings and given up three runs or less in each of his past two starts. Keuchel has faced the A’s five times (three starts and two relief appearances) in 2013, and the Astros have dropped all five of those games.
After winning the first ten games in the season series, the A’s have now fallen in four of six to the last place team. Melvin noted of the recent struggles against Houston:
“I think it’s as much to do with us. We haven’t scored runs early in the game like we were doing to them earlier in the season. We were getting ahead. Now they’re the team getting ahead and we’re having to come back. In the games over at their place we had to come back in a couple games dramatically. We’re better off trying to score some runs early in the game and get the lead.”
Brandon Moss is in the lineup despite the fact that Oakland is facing a lefty in Keuchel. On the season, 22 of the first baseman’s 26 home runs have come off right-handers. Melvin said he likes the way that Moss has been hitting off lefties lately.
Injured right-fielder Josh Reddick was on the field for batting practice to shag fly balls, and the plan is for Reddick to take batting practice with the team Tuesday in Minnesota.
Derek Norris also returns to the lineup for the first time since August 20. The catcher, who is hitting .345 since July 1, bats ninth in the lineup after retuning from a DL stint with a broken toe.
Crisp CF, Donaldson 3B, Lowrie SS, Cespedes LF, Freiman DH, Callaspo 2B, Young RF, Moss 1B, Norris C
Villar SS, Altuve 2B, Crowe RF, Castro DH, Dominguez 3B, Carter LF, Wallace 1B, Barnes CF