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The Houston Astros' continued struggles have allowed the Oakland Athletics to rebound from their own extended rough stretch.

With Rich Hill aiming to win a third straight start, the A's can add to the Astros' misery by completing the three-game sweep Sunday.

Less than 24 hours after Yonder Alonso's game-ending three-run homer gave Oakland (13-12) a 7-4 victory, Jesse Hahn threw 6 2/3-innings of three-hit ball in Saturday's 2-0 win. Prior to the series, the A's dropped five of six after winning six in a row.

"It's been a team effort (in the two games) of this series so far," said outfielder Billy Burns, whose two-run single in the second was the difference Saturday.

"We've just come together as a team."

Houston (7-17), meanwhile, is trying to remain positive amid the tough beginning to a season where it's expected to contend for the AL pennant.

"Like any team, you're going to have peaks and valleys," manager A.J. Hinch told MLB's official website. "Guys get frustrated. We've played OK, but this is a results-oriented game, and we have to play better. We have to focus on how we play."

The A's have held Houston to 11 hits in the series, four of which came Saturday while being shut out for the first time in 2016.

Hahn's effort was a welcome sight for Oakland after its previous three starters posted a combined 12.66 ERA. Those poor outings followed another strong performance from Hill (3-2, 2.42 ERA), who gave up four hits and struck out eight without a walk in seven scoreless innings of Tuesday's 5-1 victory at Detroit.

''He's really unpredictable in what he's throwing,'' said manager Bob Melvin of Hill, who has allowed one earned run, seven hits and fanned 18 over 13 innings of his last two starts. ''Sometimes even the pitches that he throws back to back are a little bit different in how they move.''

Hill, who last won three consecutive starts for the Chicago Cubs in 2007, hasn't started a game against Houston since 2008.

The left-hander will be opposed by Doug Fister (1-3, 5.56), who is looking to avoid a fourth straight losing start after receiving two runs of support while on the mound in the last three. The right-hander didn't help his cause Monday when he gave up three runs, two homers and walked a career-high seven over six innings of a 3-2 loss at Seattle.

"I felt like I made a lot of quality pitches that were somewhere near the zone, but unfortunately put too many men on base and got in some bad counts and made some mistakes and got behind," Fister said.

"I feel like I've still got a lot of stamina and I've got to go out there and do a better job."

Fister is 5-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 13 regular-season starts against the A's, but last faced them in May 2014.

He's never opposed Burns, who has hit safely in 12 of 13 games and is batting .389 with seven RBIs in his last nine against the Astros.

Houston's Jose Altuve, who has never faced Hill, is 2 for 20 in the last five games at Oakland.

Teammate Carlos Gomez will sit a second straight game with a rib injury suffered Friday.


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