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HOU@OAK: Samardizija holds Astros to one, fans six

Jeff Samardzija and Scott Feldman will square off again on Tuesday when the Astros host the A's at Minute Maid Park.

The right-handers met in their last outing on Thursday, with the A's rolling to a 13-1 rout at O.co Coliseum.

Samardzija (4-8) earned the win on the mound, going eight innings while allowing one run on five hits.

He's enjoyed a run-support average of six since joining the A's in early July, going 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in four starts.

"That's what run support will do for you," he said. "Just calm down, and I like to throw a lot of fastballs. Get a few-runs lead, you can really pound the zone, get ahead in the count and work from there."

If those first four outings are any indication, the A's can expect to get at least seven innings out of Samardzija on Tuesday.

He's thrown 30 innings since his trade from the Cubs, working through the seventh in each outing.

Feldman, meanwhile, saw his record slip to 4-8 after he gave up six earned runs over 5 1/3 innings the last time out.

Since starting the season with two stellar outings, Feldman has struggled. He's gone 2-8 with a 5.22 ERA in his last 16 starts. In his last three starts, he's 0-3 with an 8.15 ERA, allowing 27 hits and 11 walks in 17 2/3 innings.

He'll draw a difficult assignment against the American League's best team.

"They've got a tough lineup, tough team," Feldman said. "They do things the right way and play the game right, and there's a reason they're so good."

Part of the reason the Astros have scuffled in July is because their starting pitching has struggled as a whole, entering Monday with a 5.87 ERA in 21 games (6-15) for the month.

"You look at the numbers, and the numbers will tell you we're not pitching as well as we were pitching when we went on that stretch in May when we were playing really good baseball," Astros manager Bo Porter said.

Houston was 15-14 in May.

A's: Gentry has broken hand
An MRI exam revealed a fracture in Craig Gentry's right hand, forcing him to the 15-day disabled list.

The A's outfielder originally thought he was dealing with a bruise after being struck on the hand by a pitch on a bunt attempt on Sunday.

"The MRI was just more of a precautionary thing, I thought, just to make sure there was nothing wrong," said Gentry. "I really didn't think that there was going to be anything wrong, so I was surprised when they told me. It's unfortunate."

Gentry's fracture, at least, is of the non-displaced variety, and he's not anticipating being out longer than a few weeks.

In the meantime, the A's have already called up another center fielder, promoting speedster Billy Burns from Double-A Midland for Monday's series opener in Houston.

Astros: Injuries mounting
The Astros are trying to overcome several injuries to key players, including starting outfielders George Springer (right quad strain) and Dexter Fowler (right intercostal strain). Alex Presley is on the DL with a right oblique strain as well.

Right-handed reliever Josh Zeid went on the shelf on Thursday with bone injuries to both feet.

"Whenever you're playing with your backups and your starters are not in the lineup each game and every day, obviously it's going to take a toll on your team from a depth standpoint," Porter said. "But at the same time, no one is going to feel sorry for you. It's up to the guys that are in the lineup and on the lineup card to take advantage of the opportunity."

Worth noting
• A's closer Sean Doolittle has 15 saves, which is three short of the Athletics' record for saves by a left-handed pitcher.

• The Astros have the youngest roster in the Majors with an average age of 26.9.

• Astros second baseman Jose Altuve enters Tuesday with a 10-game hitting streak. He leads the Majors in hits and batting average.

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