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Preview: Athletics at Astros

The Oakland Athletics have fallen out of first place in the American League West and attempt to get back on track Thursday when they open a four-game road series against the Houston Astros. Oakland suffered a three-game sweep against Texas to fall a half-game behind the Rangers in the division race and hope to rebound against last-place Houston. The Athletics swept three games from the Astros last weekend by a cumulative score of 19-7.

Houston Astros - PlayerWatch

LHP Raul Valdes retired the only batter he faced Wednesday, lowering his season ERA by 13.50 in the process. When Valdes got Seattle's Dustin Ackley to fly out to end the seventh inning, it dropped his season ERA from 40.50 to 27.00. Wednesday's game marked Valdes' third appearance of the season, and his first without allowing a run. 2B Jose Altuve went 0for-5 Wednesday, marking only the third time in 22 games this season that he has failed to reach base.

Seager's two HRs help Mariners halt eight-game skid

Seager's two HRs help Mariners halt eight-game skid SEATTLE -- Struggling Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager needed 66 at-bats before hitting his first home run of the season in the seventh inning on Wednesday afternoon. Two innings later, Seager did it again to single-handedly bring the Mariners' offense back from the dead and Seattle snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Houston Astros.

Houston Astros - PlayerWatch

2B Jose Altuve was in the leadoff spot for the second game in a row Tuesday. He went 0-for-4 with a walk, but Houston's offense has really come alive since he was moved back to the top of the order with new acquisition Dexter Fowler dropping one spot to No. 2.

Seattle Mariners - TeamReport

MLB Team Report - Seattle Mariners - INSIDE PITCH Iwakuma makes strides in injury rehab SEATTLE -- Tuesday ended up being a pretty good day on the Hisashi Iwakuma rehab front, even if rain washed out his scheduled start at Triple-A Tacoma. Iwakuma, who has yet to pitch in a real game at any level since the end of the 2013 season, took the mound at Safeco Field to throw a four-inning simulated game before Tuesday's tilt with the Houston Astros. His 58-pitch performance created plenty of optimism.

Preview: Astros at Mariners

The Houston Astros have won back-to-back games for the second time this season and look to make it a three-game sweep of Seattle when they visit in Mariners in Wednesday’s series finale. Houston pitchers struck out 28 batters while winning the first two games and the offense has racked up 12 runs and 19 hits against Seattle pitching. The Mariners have lost eight consecutive games and 13 of their 17 and are only a half-game ahead of the last-place Astros in the American League West.

Houston Astros - PlayerWatch

2B Jose Altuve was in the leadoff spot for the second game in a row Tuesday. He went 0-for-4 with a walk, but Houston's offense has really come alive since he was moved back to the top of the order with new acquisition Dexter Fowler dropping one spot to No. 2.

Astros 5, Mariners 2

Astros 5, Mariners 2: Collin McHugh struck out a career-best 12 in 6 2/3 shutout innings in his first start of the season as Houston defeated host Seattle for the second straight night. McHugh (1-0) was recalled to fill in for the injured Scott Feldman and allowed three hits and didn’t walk anyone while dominating the Mariners. The 26-year-old was 0-8 with an 8.94 ERA in 15 major-league appearances (nine starts) entering the contest.

Houston Astros - PlayerWatch

LF Alex Presley missed three games with flu-like symptoms but came back with a bang Monday night in Seattle. He went 3-for-4 with an RBI triple and scored two runs -- doing all of his damage against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. Presley had never faced Hernandez before Monday's game. Presley was hitting .146 on the season entering the game.

Astros 7, Mariners 2

Astros 7, Mariners 2: Matt Dominguez homered and had three RBIs as visiting Houston defeated Felix Hernandez and Seattle to halt a seven-game losing streak. Dominguez smacked a two-run shot in the fifth and doubled off the left-field wall in the sixth as the Astros handed the Mariners their seventh straight defeat. Dallas Keuchel (2-1) struck out eight and allowed two runs and six hits in six innings.
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