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4
Final-11 3 4 5 6   7 8 9   10 11 R H E
Oakland0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 482
Houston0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 380
3
  W: Y. Petit (3-2)   L: C. McHugh (3-5)
5:10 PM PT6:10 PM MT7:10 PM CT8:10 PM ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 PM MST7:10 PM EST7:40 PM VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 PM CT, July 23, 2019
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 39,204

Astros, nearing full health, out to seal series win over A's

According to STATS
According to STATS

Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros

  1. Houston is 7-1 against Oakland this season, and since 2016, Houston's 44-21 record against Oakland is the second-best mark between any two divisional opponents in MLB (Indians vs. Tigers, 52-17).
  2. The A's have homered in 21 straight games, tied with the Nationals for the second-longest such streak in MLB this season (Yankees, 31) -- the A's last had a longer streak in 1996 (23).
  3. Since the All-Star break, the A's and Astros are slugging .555 and .508, respectively, the top two marks in the American League. The Astros lead the AL in hits (111) and runs (67) since the break, while the A's have the best record in the AL since the break (7-2).
  4. Michael Brantley is coming off back-to-back three-hit games, and he's had at least three hits four times in July, tied for most in MLB. He has 10 games of at least three hits in 2019 -- only five American Leaguers have more.
  5. Jose Altuve has homered in each of his last two games, and his 14 home runs in 2019 have surpassed his total from 2018 (13), despite playing in less than half as many games (137 in 2018, 65 in 2019).
  6. Ramon Laureano has scored 20 runs in July, second in MLB to Mookie Betts (23). Laureano has 14 extra-base hits this month, tied for second in MLB behind Yuli Gurriel (15). His nine multi-hit games this month are tied for most in MLB.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/22/2019 thru 7/24/2019
(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Following a 47-game absence courtesy of a left hamstring strain, Astros utility man Aledmys Diaz made his triumphant return Monday at Minute Maid Park, slugging a three-run home run as Houston ran roughshod over the visiting Oakland Athletics in the opener of a pivotal three-game series.

The bigger picture for the Astros is what Diaz and his return represent.

Houston, up to a season-best 28 games over .500 following the 11-1 victory, has done far better than tread water while overcoming the absences of Jose Altuve, George Springer, Diaz and Carlos Correa, who is slated to return from a broken rib on Friday when the Astros open a three-game interleague road series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Correa has been sidelined since May 27.

For the first time in more than two months, the Astros are on the brink of being whole again. The lineup card Houston manager A.J. Hinch filled out Monday against the Athletics provided a snapshot of just how close his team is to normalcy.

"We've had to go through a lot of different guys, some that we expected to be here, some that we didn't," Hinch said. "We've seen the emergence of a middle-of-the-order bat in (rookie Yordan) Alvarez. Our bench players have had to play a little bit more regular. We've had a lot of good things go for us.

"We've worked really hard to continue the winning ways and a good mindset, and it's a credit to the players for just playing the game today and worrying about the injuries and what names are in the lineup later."

Houston left-hander Wade Miley (8-4, 3.25 ERA) will start Tuesday as the Astros look to extend their winning streak to seven games. He is 5-2 with a 1.61 ERA over seven career starts against the Athletics, including a 1-1 mark with a 1.54 ERA over two starts this season.

Miley has just one loss over his past eight starts, limiting batters to a .189 average in that span. He has allowed more than three earned runs in only two starts this season.

Right-hander Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.61 ERA) will start as the Athletics attempt to square the series.

Fiers is 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA and a .197 opponents' batting average over his past 13 starts dating back to his May 7 no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds. The winning streak is a career best.

The 34-year-old veteran is 1-2 with a 6.15 ERA over five career starts against the Astros, for whom he went 21-19 with a 4.59 ERA in 70 appearances (67 starts) from 2015-17.

For Oakland, the only benefit of the lopsided loss was that a handful of regulars were replaced after things got out of hand. With the Athletics in dogged pursuit of both the Astros in the American League West and a postseason spot possibly via the wild card, unexpected rest is a welcome surprise.

Shortstop Marcus Semien and first baseman Matt Olson were pulled in the middle of the fourth inning after two plate appearances. Third baseman Matt Chapman was lifted an inning later. If fresher legs for the remainder of this series are born of this blowout, the Athletics will take them.

"If there is any bright side to it, we rested some of the guys early in the game that have been playing quite a bit," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.

--Field Level Media

Updated July 23, 2019

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