Monday, April 13, 2015

A's look to continue dominance over Astros

The A's will hit the road for the first time in 2015 with a trip to Houston for a three-game set against the Astros. A pair of veterans are set to face off in the series opener at 8:10 p.m. ET on Monday, when Oakland southpaw Scott Kazmir will counter Houston righty Scott Feldman.
It will mark the first of 19 meetings between the two division foes in a series that has been controlled by the A's. Since the Astros made the move to the American League West before the 2013 season, Oakland is 26-12 against Houston.
Things to know about this game:
• Kazmir put together a sterling seven-inning start for his 2015 debut, holding the Rangers scoreless while limiting them to one hit and striking out 10. Kazmir also experienced a bit of back tightness in the start and had to run up to the clubhouse to get it stretched out, but said he doesn't expect it to affect him going forward. The southpaw fared well against the Astros in four starts last year, posting a 2.30 ERA in 27 ⅓ innings while striking out 26.
• The Astros didn't give Feldman any run support in his first start of the year, as the veteran was saddled with the hard-luck loss. Feldman gave up an earned run in 6 ⅔ innings of work while striking out five, but Houston lost 2-0 against Cleveland. In four contests against Oakland last season, Feldman went 0-2 with a 3.90 ERA across 27 ⅔ innings pitched.
• A's designated hitter Billy Butler enters the contest with baseball's best hitting streak at seven games. Butler is batting .400 (10-for-25) with two doubles and two RBIs but has yet to hit a home run with the green and gold. He has historically struggled to hit at Minute Maid Park, as his career .209 average is the lowest for any ballpark where he's played at least 10 games.

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