MLB

Astros-Athletics Preview

While Jose Altuve isn't showing signs of slowing down during his remarkable hitting streak, the Oakland Athletics aren't getting much from their short-handed offense during their losing streak.

Altuve looks to hit safely in a 29th consecutive game in this series as the Houston Astros go for the sweep Sunday against the A's, who are three games under .500 for the first time since July 2012.

Altuve, who hit a major league-best .341 in 2014, went 2 for 5 with his second home run and three RBIs in Saturday's 9-3 win that moved Houston (10-7) to a 6-1 since dropping six of its first 10.

The All-Star second baseman continues to feast on Oakland pitching with a .375 average over his impressive hitting streak, which is the longest by a Houston player against one team. He's 10 for 22 with two homers in five meetings this season.

''It's nothing extra special against the A's because he hits against everybody, but certainly that's a long time to play against one opponent and continue to have success,'' Houston manager A.J. Hinch said.

The Astros have won a franchise-best three in a row in Oakland after dropping 16 of the previous 21. They're also off to their best start since winning 12 of 17 games in 2006.

The slumping A's (8-11) are batting .208 with seven runs during a three-game losing streak.

Brett Lawrie is among those struggling with a .158 average and 15 strikeouts in his last 10 games. Ben Zobrist was batting .240 and had started at three different positions before landing on the disabled list Saturday.

"At this point, we're not doing anything too terribly right," manager Bob Melvin said.

Trying to avoid a five-game home losing streak, Oakland turns to Drew Pomeranz (1-2, 4.24 ERA).

Since allowing two hits over seven shutout innings in his season debut, the left-hander has given up nine runs and 14 hits over 10 innings in consecutive road defeats.

One of those outings came in Houston on April 15, when Pomeranz surrendered four runs and six hits over five-plus innings in a 6-1 loss. He is 0-2 with a 7.30 ERA in three career starts against the Astros.

Altuve went 2 for 3 with a double when facing Pomeranz in the first meeting, while former A's infielder Jed Lowrie had a home run, double and three RBIs. Lowrie is also 8 for 15 with four RBIs in his last four starts.

George Springer, who hit his second home run Saturday, is 4 for 11 with three extra-base hits in this series after hitting .167 with three extra-base hits over his first 15 games.

Batting .350 with a .400 on-base percentage, Houston's Jake Marisnick has not been ruled out after missing two games due to leg soreness.

Asher Wojciechowski (0-1, 6.00) will make his third start after allowing eight hits and four runs over four innings in each of his first two. He struck out six in Monday's 7-5 win at Seattle.

The rookie right-hander made a relief appearance against the A's on April 13, giving up two hits over four scoreless innings in an 8-1 home defeat.

Promoted Stories
Comments

More MLB