(Sports Network) - Brett Anderson takes aim at his first win of the season on
Sunday when the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros conclude a three-game
series at Minute Maid Park.
Anderson was terrific in his Opening Day assignment against the Seattle
Mariners, but was outdueled by Felix Hernandez and absorbed the loss, despite
surrendering just two runs and four hits in seven innings. He also walked four
batters and fanned six.
"When you're matched up against someone of Felix's caliber, you know runs are
going to be at a premium for the most part, and I gave up more than he did,"
said Anderson, who has never faced the Astros. "He's a tremendous pitcher,
obviously, $175 million worth. You go out there and try to throw up zeros
because the track record says he's going to do it, too, and I was able to do
that except one inning, and it turned out to cost us."
Houston, meanwhile, will counter with righty Lucas Harrell, who was brilliant
in his first start against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, but like Anderson,
matched up against someone just a little bit better. In fact he opposed
someone who was nearly flawless, as the Rangers' Yu Darvish came within an out
of a perfect game, leaving Harrell as a hard-luck loser.
Harrell, who is 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA in three games (1 start) against the A's,
gave up just a run and six hits in six innings in the loss to the Rangers.
"Lucas was outstanding," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "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, but the guy on the other side of the field
did a tremendous job."
On Saturday, Jed Lowrie clubbed a solo home run among his three hits to lead
Oakland to a 6-3 victory. Coco Crisp and Seth Smith each smacked solo shots as
well, while Bartolo Colon surrendered three runs over six solid innings for
the A's, who have won four straight, including an 8-3 decision in Friday's
"I'm confident with my swing right now," Lowrie said. "I'm working myself into
good hitters' counts, and even when I get behind, I'm not trying to do too
Colon (1-0), making his first start since a 50-game suspension for testing
positive for testosterone ended his 2012 campaign prematurely, scattered eight
hits and fanned two without issuing a walk.
Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook each spun a perfect inning in relief before Grant
Balfour retired the Astros in order in the ninth to record his first save of
Jason Castro clubbed a three-run homer to account for the Astros' offense,
while Bud Norris (1-1) allowed five runs -- two earned -- on six hits over 5
2/3 frames in Houston's fourth straight loss.
Oakland's only previous trip to Houston came in an interleague series in 2007,
and the A's took two of three.
The Sports Network