HOUSTON — Heralded outfield prospect Kyle Tucker made his big-league debut Saturday for the Astros [url=http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.com/authentic-jason-mccourty-jersey
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With Tucker, who finished 1-for-4 with a bases-loaded walk and three strikeouts in the Astros’ 12-6 win, in the fold, outfielder Tony Kemp will see a reduction in his playing time despite providing a spark for the Astros (60-31) since his mid-May recall. Kemp has a slash line of .295/.385/.410 over 40 games.
Outfielder Jake Marisnick, meanwhile, was optioned to Triple-A Fresno for a second time on the same night he delivered another sparkling play in center field.
Marisnick was batting .190 with 69 strikeouts in 163 plate appearances.
“It was hard for Jake, and it should be,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “He’s had a roller-coaster season going up and down. The first go-round he was really needing to go correct some things. The second go-around he was doing a lot better and things were out of his control a little bit as to him going down to Triple-A. There are still some offensive adjustments we want him to make.
“(Kemp) came up and won the right to stay in the big leagues. When a transaction happens, we talk a lot about the guy we sent down but the guy that we kept earned the right to be here. I’m very proud of what Tony has contributed to this team [url=http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.com/authentic-trent-brown-jersey
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Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel (5-8, 4.12 ERA) will start the series finale against the White Sox. He has posted three quality starts in his last four outings, going 2-0 with a 2.96 ERA and 21 strikeouts across 24 1/3 innings during that stretch.
Keuchel is 3-4 with a 3.81 ERA over eight career starts against the White Sox including a 10-1 win on April 21 when he worked six innings and allowed one run on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Right-hander Lucas Giolito (5-7, 6.93 ERA) gets the starting nod for Chicago (30-59). He is 2-3 with a 7.50 ERA in his last eight starts, allowing five runs or more four times.
Giolito will make his third career start against the Astros, against whom he is 0-2 with an 11.42 ERA. He was charged with nine runs on five hits and seven walks opposite Keuchel on April 21 and suffered the loss in his previous appearance at Minute Maid Park on Sept. 19, 2017, when he allowed two runs on seven hits and one walk with three strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings of a 3-1 loss.
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson was back in the starting lineup Saturday and finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts after sitting out the previous game to manage the soreness in his left forearm. Anderson was hit by a pitch in Thursday’s series opener.
Anderson has become a fixture in the eight-hole when Chicago faces a right-handed starter, a move designed to help amplify the depth of the White Sox lineup and provide additional opportunities atop the batting order for fellow infielders Yoan Moncada and Yolmer Sanchez.
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Houston ace Justin Verlander made two mistakes, both resulting in home runs. The way the Astros are swinging the bats these days, it hardly mattered.
Verlander pitched five-hit ball over seven innings and the Astros jumped out to another early lead, beating the Oakland Athletics 7-3 Thursday for their eighth straight win.
Brian McCann homered for the first time in nearly a month. Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve and Josh Reddick were among five players with two hits apiece as Houston completed the three-game sweep.
”It happens fast when we’re at our best,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. ”We can get after you and then we stay after you. We’re not going to be perfect all the time . but when we are good like this and putting up runs, we’re pretty tough.”
Evan Gattis, who set a franchise record with five RBIs in each of the first two games of the series, went 1 for 5 and didn’t drive in a run.
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The winning streak is their longest since they won 11 straight May 25-June 5 last season on the way to their first World Series championship. Houston also improved to 8-1 against Oakland this season.
”It’s nice to have your team hot, you just want to be the guy to keep it going,” Verlander said. ”The run support is awesome. It’s fun to be a part of keeping the rhythm and keeping the momentum on our side.”
Khris Davis and Matt Olson homered for the A’s. It was Davis’ third home run in three consecutive at-bats after going deep in his final two plate appearances Wednesday.
Both home runs came off Verlander, who went into the day leading the majors with a 1.45 ERA.
Still, Verlander (9-2) was sharp in his first appearance against the A’s since 2016. He faced three batters over the minimum before Oakland scored twice in the seventh.
The six-time All-Star allowed three runs, struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter while earning his fifth consecutive win.
”I felt like I navigated the lineup pretty well,” Verlander said. ”Really, one not well-executed pitch I would like back and another pitch selection I would like back.”
The Astros outscored the A’s 26-11 in the series and have a 69-20 run differential in the last eight games between the two division rivals. They also got some help from Oakland third baseman Matt Chapman, who committed a pair of errors that led to a pair of unearned runs in the sixth.
Frankie Montas (3-1) gave up five earned runs and 11 hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked four.
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RHP Trevor Cahill (Achilles strain) was placed by Oakland on the 10-day disabled list for the second time this season. RHPs Chris Bassitt and Carlos Ramirez were called up from Triple-A Nashville. Reliever Danny Coulombe was optioned down.
ONE STREAK ENDS, ANOTHER CONTINUES
Houston 3B Alex Bregman went hitless in four at-bats, ending his hitting streak at 10 games. But Bregman drew a walk to extend his on-base streak to 25 games, the second-longest active mark in the majors behind Shin-Soo Choo of Texas (28).
Astros: Bregman was back in the lineup after getting a rest day Wednesday.
Athletics: Chapman left the game with a bruised right hand that has been bothering him since spring training. He was expected to be taken for an MRI after the game. Cahill is nursing a strained right Achilles and is wearing a walking boot. He hasn’t responded to treatment and there is no timetable for his return. … Matt Joyce (lumbar strain) will take full batting practice Friday and begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville on Monday.
Astros: RHP Charlie Morton (7-1, 2.82 ERA) attempts to become Houston’s fourth starter with eight wins or more when he pitches in Kansas City on Friday night.
Athletics: RHP Chris Bassitt (0-1, 1.29), who was called up from Triple-A Nashville, will pitch against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. Bassitt is taking Cahill’s spot in the rotation.