video thumbnail

SEA@OAK: Anderson strikes out the side to start 2013

No one has been a more consistent starter for the Astros in the past year than Lucas Harrell.

The right-hander has tossed at least five innings in 31 consecutive starts, a stretch that dates all the way back to April 18.

Harrell will look to continue that streak on Sunday as the A's and Astros square off in the series finale of a three-game set at Minute Maid Park.

Harrell was a tough-luck loser in his season debut on Tuesday against the Rangers, tossing six innings and allowing just one run on six hits.

"Lucas was outstanding," Astros manager Bo Porter said after the game. "Even the time he got into jams, he was able to make pitches to make the double play to get out of them. It's tough to go six solid innings and give up one run the way he did tonight and end up taking a loss."

A's left-hander Brett Anderson found himself in a similar situation after his 2013 debut on Monday against the Mariners. He surrendered just two runs on four hits in seven innings in opposition of Felix Hernandez, but took a loss.

Anderson didn't give up a hit until the fourth inning of the game, striking out a total of six in the 108-pitch effort. However, it was the four uncharacteristic walks he issued that proved to be the difference.

"I was definitely impressed with Brett. The lights come on, and it's a different guy out there," A's catcher John Jaso said after the game. "He's competitive and he's throwing the ball hard. That performance that he gave out there, that's definitely one that deserves a win."

A's: Moss back with team
• First baseman Brandon Moss was back with the A's in Houston on Saturday, yet still on high alert as his wife, Allison, gets ready to have their second son in the Bay Area at any time.

"I kissed her goodbye and told her, 'I love you, but just stay pregnant!'" Moss said, smiling. "She wasn't laughing, though."

Moss and the A's fortunately return to California on Sunday night, in preparation for a three-game series with the Angels in Anaheim that begins on Tuesday.

Astros: Blackley placed on DL
• Less than two days after being traded to the Astros, left-hander Travis Blackley was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a left shoulder strain.

To fill Blackley's roster spot, pitcher Dallas Keuchel was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Keuchel, 25, posted a 3-8 record and 5.27 ERA in 16 starts for the Astros in 2012.

The Astros acquired Blackley on Thursday. A day later, he suffered a left shoulder strain during a bullpen session at Minute Maid Park. His placement on the DL is retroactive to Friday.

• Jose Altuve started Saturday's game against the A's as the designated hitter for the first time in his Major League career. He continued to bat in the leadoff spot and finished the game going 1-for-4.

Worth Noting
• Astros left-hander Erik Bedard will make his first start of the season on Tuesday in Seattle. Bedard had been originally penciled in to start Saturday against Oakland, but Thursday's off-day allowed Porter to give No. 1 starter Bud Norris an extra turn on Saturday.

• Despite his back stiffening in Friday night's game, center fielder Coco Crisp was back in the starting lineup on Saturday. He finished the game going 2-for-5 with a double and solo home run. Comments