(SportsNetwork.com) – Drew Pomeranz and Collin McHugh both put together
breakout seasons in 2014.
Their respective starts last Friday may have proved they weren’t flukes.
Pomeranz looks to lead the Oakland Athletics to a three-game sweep on
Wednesday night against McHugh and the Houston Astros.
The 26-year-old Pomeranz went 5-4 with a 2.35 earned run average in 20 games
with Oakland last season, including 10 starts. He then pitched seven scoreless
innings in Friday’s 12-0 win over the Seattle Mariners, scattering two hits
and striking out six without a walk.
It marked only the third time in the left-hander’s 41 career starts that he
pitched seven innings.
Pomeranz is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in three games (2 starts) versus the Astros.
McHugh had an even bigger season a year ago for Houston, going 11-9 with a
2.73 ERA in 25 starts. He stretched his career-high winning streak to eight
games with last Friday’s 5-1 win over Texas, charged with a run on five hits
and two walks over six innings.
McHugh’s unbeaten streak began on Aug. 12 and is the longest by an Astros
pitcher since Roy Oswalt’s nine-decision run from Aug. 23, 2006-April 17,
The 27-year-old righty has faced Oakland just once before and picked up a
victory, yielding a run and two hits while fanning seven and walking three
over 8 2/3 innings.
Oakland’s pitching staff logged another great outing on Tuesday, following up
a series-opening 8-1 win with a 4-0 victory, Four of the Athletics’ five
victories this season have been shutouts.
Kendall Graveman, who was hammered by the Rangers in losing his first start
last week, logged 5 1/3 scoreless innings of four-hit ball, also working
around four walks and striking out three in the win.
“For a youngster who had a tough first outing that shows you a little bit of
what he’s made,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Oakland was coming off consecutive extra-inning defeats prior to this series
and saw Billy Butler extended his hitting streak to nine games with an RBI
double last night. Sam Fuld added a pair of doubles and scored a run, while
Josh Reddick had two hits and an RBI.
Houston had eight hits — all singles — and drew four walks but went 0-for-7
with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 men on base.
Brad Peacock came off the disabled list to pitch five-plus innings for the
Astros, giving up three runs, five hits and two walks. He was activated before
the game after having right hip surgery in October. Three Houston relievers
combined to allow just two more hits.
“Our pitching held us in the game,” said Astros manager A.J. Hinch. “(The A’s)
did a pretty good job of getting a run and then tacking on a couple.”
Houston has lost five of seven.
The A’s were 11-8 versus the Astros last season, splitting 10 games in