A's try to maintain AL West lead, resume set with 'Stros

The Oakland Athletics hope to pad their slim lead atop the AL West when they resume a four-game series versus the Houston Astros Saturday at the Coliseum.

The A's grabbed a half-game lead on the Texas Rangers in the division with Friday's 7-5 win, coupled by a Texas loss to the LA Angels.

Josh Donaldson went 3-for-5 with a home run and three runs scored and Jed Lowrie added two hits and two RBI. Yoenis Cespedes and Nate Freiman had two hits and an RBI apiece for the Athletics, who have won nine of 12 games to reclaim AL West bragging rights.

"It doesn't matter until the end of the season, we know that too well," Donaldson said. "We're really not trying to focus on it right now. We're trying to take care of our business."

A.J. Griffin earned the win even though he gave up four runs in six innings and Grant Balfour picked up his 37th save in the ninth.

Taking the mound for Oakland Saturday will be Dan Straily, who has won consecutive outings and is 8-7 with a 4.38 ERA in 23 starts. The right-hander won his only career start against the Astros back on April 5, when he fanned 11 batters and gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings of an 8-3 win.

Houston had won two straight and three of five games until Friday's loss.

Matt Dominguez plated two runs and Jonathan Villar and Jose Altuve contributed an RBI and a run scored apiece for the Astros, while starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel gave up five runs on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings to fall to 0-4 in his last seven starts.

"We had a good game plan going in," Keuchel told the club's website. "I felt like the slider was keeping them in check early in the count because they like to hack. Some of those base hits were just because they're strong enough to get them through the hole. It's just one of those days where nothing was going right and everything was going wrong."

The Astros are 1-1 on a seven-game road trip and will hand the ball to Brett Oberholtzer Saturday. Oberholtzer is 4-1 with a 2.79 ERA in nine games (6 starts) during his rookie campaign and went the distance in a 2-0 win over Seattle on Sunday. He scattered four hits, fanned five batters and walked one.

Oberholtzer, a left-hander, has never faced the Athletics.

Oakland is 13-4 against the Astros this season.