Astros-Athletics Preview

The Oakland Athletics’ bats had seemingly gone dormant in their

last series before busting out in a big way in the series opener

against the Houston Astros.

Oakland will look to put up another big number Tuesday night as

it hosts a Houston team trying to end a three-game skid.

The Athletics improved the AL’s best record to 10-4 Monday with

an 11-2 win over the Astros. The 11 runs were more than they

totaled in their previous series while losing two of three to

Detroit – a series they also struck out 38 times in.

They pushed across six runs in the first inning alone Monday,

only needing two hits to do so. Oakland knocked out Houston starter

Erik Bedard after only a third of an inning in which he yielded

four walks.

The A’s were able to coast the rest of the way behind Tommy

Milone, who gave up two runs on eight hits over 6 2-3 innings.

“Six runs in the first inning is always a tough deficit to

overcome, especially with a guy like Tommy Milone on the mound,”

Houston manager Bo Porter said.

Looking to pick up where Milone left off Tuesday will be A.J.

Griffin (2-0, 1.93 ERA), who was masterful in an 8-1 win over the

Angels on Thursday, going eight innings and allowing one run and

five hits.

“I’m kind of at a loss for words, actually,” Griffin said. “It’s

what you always want to go out there and do, just give your team a

chance to win. I didn’t have a real good feel for the curveball

tonight, but I just tried to keep it in the back of their guys’

heads and just attack the zone and get ahead of people.”

The Astros (4-9), meanwhile, have followed a three-game winning

streak with three straight defeats. Starting Tuesday will be Brad

Peacock (1-1, 4.82), who was acquired from Oakland in an offseason

trade and lost to his former team April 5. Peacock surrendered two

runs on three hits and three walks in 4 1-3 innings as the

Athletics claimed an 8-3 victory.

One of those runs was a leadoff homer by Coco Crisp, who also

doubled and walked in the win.

“After the first two innings, I calmed down and feel like I did

OK,” Peacock said of his first start in the majors since 2011. “It

was the first time I’d been out there in a while. I wasn’t nervous,

but I was over-amped, trying to throw a little too hard,

maybe.”

Crisp, who returned Monday after missing two games with a

strained left groin, extended his hitting streak to 10 games with

his sixth double.

Monday was a bittersweet day for Oakland rookie Nate Freiman,

who connected on his first career home run, but also had a close

eye on the bombings in his hometown of Boston.

“A lot of my family is back there, and it was a nightmare,” he

said. “It’s an amazing feeling today but we’re not going to forget

about what happened in Boston. Prayers are with everyone

there.”