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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, April 20th (All times Eastern)

Houston Astros (5-13) at Oakland Athletics (12-5), 4:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Brad Peacock (0-1, 7.45) Oakland - Jesse Chavez (0-1, 1.35)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Jesse Chavez takes another shot at his first win of the season on Sunday when the Oakland Athletics close out a three-game series with the Houston Astros at O.co Coliseum.

Chavez has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season, but has no wins to show for it, despite allowing just one earned run in each of his three starts. Chavez received his third consecutive no-decision on Monday in Anaheim, as he allowed two runs (1 earned) and four hits over seven innings to lower his ERA to 1.35.

He also fanned nine without walking a batter for the second straight start.

"For me, my mentality when I go out there every time is to try to match the other starter, inning for inning," Chavez said. "I had trouble early throwing strikes I was happy with."

This will be Chavez's first start against the Astros, but has pitched to a 0.92 ERA in 15 relief outings against them.

Houston, meanwhile, will counter with righty Brad Peacock, as he fills the spot of Lucas Harrell, who was designated for assignment earlier in the week.

Peacock. started 14 games for the Astros last season, but has appeared in four games out of the bullpen this season, going 0-1 with a 7.45 ERA.

Oakland continued its mastery of the lowly Astros on Saturday, but it wasn't easy, as the A's scored three times in the ninth to pull off a stunning 4-3 come-from-behind win.

Holding a 3-1 lead, the Astros sent Chad Qualls (0-1) to the mound in the bottom of the ninth. Jed Lowrie started Oakland's rally with a leadoff homer to right. Josh Donaldson walked and Yoenis Cespedes singled before pinch- hitter John Jaso struck out swinging. Alberto Callaspo and Josh Reddick followed with back-to-back RBI singles to complete the improbable victory.

"That's one of the best characteristics of this team," said Lowrie. "We had that last year, and we're off to a good start this year of really grinding out those last-inning at-bats and making it tough on the other guys, never making it easy on them."

Dan Otero (3-0) picked up the win after tossing a scoreless top of the ninth. Oakland starter Scott Kazmir allowed three runs -- two earned -- on six hits while striking out five over eight innings.

The A's are now 22-5 all-time against the Astros, which is the best record by a team against another among those who have played at least 20 times.

Jonathan Villar went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and two runs scored for the Astros, who have dropped six straight.

Oakland was 15-4 against the Astros last season, including wins in seven of the 10 matchups in the Coliseum.

04/20 10:25:09 ET

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