Astros look for 10th win in a row when they visit Athletics

Field Level Media

The Oakland Athletics hope to see the other side of right-hander Collin McHugh when the Houston Astros visit to open a two-game series on Tuesday night in Oakland, Calif.

McHugh limited the A's to one run and three hits over six innings in a 3-2 win when the clubs met in Houston on April 5.

The victory triggered a nine-game winning streak for the Astros, while at the same time started the A's on a four-game skid and a 4-5 trip.

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McHugh (2-1, 2.65) has won both his home starts this season, but lost at Tampa Bay in his only road outing.

Those results are consistent with a brilliant career home record (33-17, 3.55), as opposed to an average road ledger (23-22, 4.14).

The 31-year-old has gone 9-1 with a 2.73 ERA in 18 games, including 12 starts, against the A's in his career. But most of that success has come at home; he's just 2-1 with a 4.98 ERA in six appearances, four as a starter, in Oakland.

McHugh's two victories this season not only have come at home, but have come in games in which he pitched just six innings and then watched the bullpen hold on for one- and two-runs wins.

The Houston bullpen has been among the American League's best this season, going 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA.

"It's going to be different for us this year," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of a season without innings-eater Dallas Keuchel, who left in free agency. "We're going to be more like the Rays. I don't mean with an opener. I mean getting a pitcher out at around 90 pitches. I can do that with (Brad) Peacock, (Wade) Miley and McHugh."

McHugh threw a season-high 94 pitches in his win over Oakland.

He'll be paired this time with A's right-hander Marco Estrada (0-1, 4.87), who didn't face the Astros in Oakland's recent trek to Houston.

He's faced the Astros 14 times in his career, eight times as a starter, going 2-1 with a 3.58 ERA.

While the A's are happy to get McHugh on their home turf Tuesday, they're equally happy to get Estrada another home start.

While never earning a decision, he pitched effectively in all three of his previous Oakland starts, allowing a total of five earned runs in 16 1/3 innings.

The A's won six of 10 on their opening homestand, but then lost four straight to begin their just completed nine-game trip. The first three of those losses came at Houston, two by one run.

Oakland rebounded to win four straight before losing 9-8 Sunday at Texas when it appeared a five-run lead had them primed to complete a winning trip.

"That's a game we normally don't lose," A's manager Bob Melvin assured reporters after the game. "We just had one guy (Joakim Soria) get whacked around a little bit in the eighth inning."

Oakland hasn't had the same amount of success as the Astros out of its bullpen this season. A's relievers have compiled a 4.39 ERA so far.

The game tips off an eight-game homestand for the A's. The Astros, meanwhile, will be seeking to continue the perfect start of an eight-game trip, coming off three straight wins at Seattle.

--Field Level Media

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