MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Oakland0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 120
Houston0 4 7 0 0 0 0 0 x 11131
  W: G. Cole (11-5)   L: H. Bailey (8-7)
5:10 PM PT6:10 PM MT7:10 PM CT8:10 PM ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 PM MST7:10 PM EST7:40 PM VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 PM CT, July 22, 2019
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas  Attendance: 41,534

Bailey prepares for second A's start vs. Astros

According to STATS
According to STATS

Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros

  1. Houston is 7-1 against Oakland this season, and since 2016, Houston's 44-21 record against Oakland is the second-best mark between any two divisional opponents in MLB (Indians vs. Tigers, 52-17).
  2. The A's have homered in 21 straight games, tied with the Nationals for the second-longest such streak in MLB this season (Yankees, 31) -- the A's last had a longer streak in 1996 (23).
  3. Since the All-Star break, the A's and Astros are slugging .555 and .508, respectively, the top two marks in the American League. The Astros lead the AL in hits (111) and runs (67) since the break, while the A's have the best record in the AL since the break (7-2).
  4. Michael Brantley is coming off back-to-back three-hit games, and he's had at least three hits four times in July, tied for most in MLB. He has 10 games of at least three hits in 2019 -- only five American Leaguers have more.
  5. Jose Altuve has homered in each of his last two games, and his 14 home runs in 2019 have surpassed his total from 2018 (13), despite playing in less than half as many games (137 in 2018, 65 in 2019).
  6. Ramon Laureano has scored 20 runs in July, second in MLB to Mookie Betts (23). Laureano has 14 extra-base hits this month, tied for second in MLB behind Yuli Gurriel (15). His nine multi-hit games this month are tied for most in MLB.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/22/2019 thru 7/24/2019
(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

As first impressions go, Homer Bailey made a good one on the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.

But Bailey was acquired to help Oakland beat teams like the Houston Astros, who he faces Monday night in the opener of the teams' big three-game series at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

That Bailey knocked off the Seattle Mariners 10-2 on Wednesday in his A's debut was fine and dandy. He permitted two runs on seven hits over six solid innings, walking none and fanning six in beating Seattle for the second time in a month. He blanked them for 7 2/3 innings on June 18 while pitching for the Kansas City Royals.

However, Bailey (8-6, 4.69 ERA) will have a tougher challenge in his second Oakland outing. Not only are the Astros (64-37) coming into this one with a 6 1/2-game lead over the A's in the American League West, but Oakland needs length from Bailey after a tough ending to its series in Minnesota on Sunday.

After starter Daniel Mengden was knocked out following 3 1/3 ineffective innings, the A's bullpen pieced together five one-run innings to help bring them within two outs of another comeback win over the Twins. But closer Liam Hendriks blew his first save in nine chances as Minnesota scored two in the ninth for a 7-6 verdict.

Working in Bailey's favor in this game is that his start against Seattle was his first in 13 days. Kansas City manager Ned Yost pulled him from a July 14 outing against Detroit after he was shipped to the Bay Area. Monday's start will be on his normal four days' rest.

"A little rusty early, and then I was able to find that tempo and where I wanted to be," Bailey said after Wednesday's win, per "The way this team fights for nine innings is outstanding. I know if I can keep it close, they're going to score runs and play great defense."

Bailey is 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA in eight career starts against the Astros.

With Gerrit Cole (10-5, 3.12) taking the mound for Houston, Bailey will have to be sharp. Cole has allowed more than one run just once in his last six starts, including an 11-2 victory Wednesday night at the Los Angeles Angels.

Cole scattered seven hits and ceded a run over seven innings, whiffing 11 and walking only one. It was the sixth time in his last 10 starts that Cole has fanned 10 or more hitters.

His total of 194 strikeouts leads MLB, and with second-place Max Scherzer (181) on the injured list, Cole could make a mockery of that race.

According to Cole, his changeup was critical to shutting down the Angels. He threw it 11 times, tying his season high.

"I've thrown some better ones, but I didn't throw it in a bad spot all night," he said to after that start. "It was the first time all year that I really located it in good spots and missed in good spots."

Cole is 3-1 with a 3.30 ERA in seven career starts against Oakland.

The Astros enter this series fresh off a sweep of the Texas Rangers. Michael Brantley homered twice in Sunday's series finale, a 5-3 decision.

--Field Level Media

Updated July 22, 2019

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