Oakland Athletics (66-40) at Houston Astros (43-64)
Wednesday, July 30 - 2:10 PM EST
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
The Oakland Athletics look to ride the momentum from a huge ninth inning into the rubber match of their three-game series against the host Houston Astros on Wednesday afternoon. League-leading Oakland managed just one run and five hits over the first eight innings Tuesday as it appeared on its way to a second straight loss to its division rival. But the Athletics rallied for six runs on six hits in the ninth, with Brandon Moss snapping a tie with an RBI single and fellow All-Star Josh Donaldson following with a two-run double.
Oakland, which moved 2 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West, improved to 8-4 against the Astros this season but is just 3-3 at Minute Maid Park. Houston recorded only six hits in Tuesday's loss and has been outscored 82-47 in the season series with the Athletics. The Astros have lost six of their last seven overall games and are 3-8 since the All-Star break.
TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, CSN Houston
PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics RH Jason Hammel (8-8, 3.41 ERA) vs. Astros LH Dallas Keuchel (9-7, 3.11)
Hammel remains in search of his first victory since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs as he fell to 0-3 in three starts with Oakland after allowing four runs - three earned - in 5 2/3 innings at Texas on Friday. The 31-year-old has posted a 7.11 ERA over his three outings since the trade, surrendering 12 runs and 19 hits in 12 2/3 frames. Hammel has pitched well against Houston over his career, going 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA in five games (four starts).
Keuchel was saddled with his second straight loss and fourth in five decisions on Friday despite limiting Miami to two unearned runs and striking out seven over seven innings. It was a positive step for the 26-year-old, who had surrendered at least four runs in each of his previous five starts. Keuchel is 0-2 with a 5.20 ERA in six career games - four starts - against Oakland, including a no-decision on April 26 in which he yielded three runs over 6 1/3 innings.
1. Oakland CF Coco Crisp will miss his fourth consecutive game Wednesday due to a strained neck.
2. Houston All-Star 2B Jose Altuve is riding an 11-game hitting streak.
3. Athletics LF Yoenis Cespedes has hit safely in nine of his last 10 contests and has driven in a total of 11 runs during his six-game RBI streak.
PREDICTION: Athletics 6, Astros 3