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HOU@SEA: McHugh fans 12 in scoreless Astros debut

After the Astros edged the A's on Saturday night for their first win in six tries against Oakland this year, the two clubs will make a quick return to Minute Maid Park on Sunday for the matinee finale of the four-game set.

Seeking a series win, Oakland will send lefty Tommy Milone to the mound, while the Astros counter with righty Collin McHugh as they seek a series split.

McHugh is coming off his first Major League win in his Astros debut, a brilliant 6 2/3 scoreless-inning performance in Seattle that included no walks and 12 strikeouts. In the win, he became just the fourth Houston pitcher to fan a dozen in the last decade.

The 26-year-old right-hander will be making his Minute Maid Park debut Sunday, and he's expecting several family members, including his parents, to be in attendance.

"I think the novelty of the first start and the excitement, I can leave behind me," McHugh said. "It was a lot of fun, but the confidence I'm going to take with me."

He'll be facing an A's lineup that has outscored the Astros, 47-20, this year.

"They're aggressive and kind of hot right now," the righty said. "Hopefully I can use that against them by pounding the zone, maybe getting some quick outs to work deep in the game."

Milone has completed six innings in each of his last two starts, most recently taking a no-decision after allowing the Rangers three runs on five hits and four walks with one strikeout Tuesday.

Milone holds a modest 4.24 ERA and 1.53 WHIP with just nine strikeouts in 17 innings, and the A's are 0-3 in his starting assignments this season, but are 36-24 in his career.

The 27-year-old lefty is 1-0 with a 4.62 ERA in four career starts against Houston.

A's: Cespedes on the mend from hamstring strain
• Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes took part in running drills Saturday, just two days after suffering a strained left hamstring, and could be back in action soon.

Whether he's ready for a starting assignment is unclear, but there's a possibility the slugger could be available off the bench Sunday.

"When I'm told he's available off the bench," said manager Bob Melvin, "that's a nice little thing to have in your pocket.

Astros: Feldman on the mend, nearing return
• Houston is hoping to get back rotation leader Scott Feldman next weekend.

The veteran right-hander, stationed on the 15-day disabled list with right biceps tendinitis, began throwing Thursday and took part in long-toss drills Saturday.

The club is hoping he's available next Saturday for a home start against the Mariners, barring any setbacks.

"Our thought process when he went on the DL was to make sure he came back 100 percent, so we won't force him back into a start if he's not there yet," manager Bo Porter said Saturday. "The hope is that he can be ready for then and his progress indicates he will be."

Worth noting
• Astros outfielder Alex Presley singled in his second at-bat Saturday to extend his hitting streak to seven games.

• The A's are 9-6 during a stretch of 19 consecutive games against American League West competition.

• Oakland is 8-2 in day games, which is tied for the best record in the AL. In contrast, the Astros are 1-5 during the day. Comments