The Houston Astros had no answer for Texas' Yu Darvish on Monday. The Astros may not have any better luck on Tuesday when they start a three-game series against Bartolo Colon and the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum.
Houston was no-hit for 7 1/3 innings in Monday's 2-1 loss to the Rangers and managed just one hit and struck out 16 times in the loss. Carlos Corporan broke up Darvish's bid at history when he launched a home run to right field with one out in the eighth inning, but the Astros lost for the sixth straight game.
Now Houston faces a team in Oakland that has beaten it 11 times in 12 chances this season and is 16-2 all-time against it. Not to mention they go up against burly right-hander Colon, who is 14-4 with a 2.75 ERA.
Colon, though, is coming off his worst start of the season his last time out on Wednesday in Cincinnati. He couldn't get out of the third inning in that one, as he allowed five runs on seven hits with three walks in just 2 2/3 frames to take the loss.
"He didn't look like he had his best stuff (against the Reds)," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "His velocity was down. He did have a little bit of a stomach ailment in the bullpen when he was warming up. He's had it before, so it was just a combination of things today.
"He's also able to pitch without his best stuff at times. (Wednesday) is the first time we have not seen him do that."
Colon has beaten the Astros three times this season and held them scoreless in seven innings the last time he faced them. He is 6-2 lifetime against Houston with a 3.02 ERA in nine starts.
Oakland took three of four from the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend, but still finds itself one game back of the Rangers in the American League West. The A's, of course, held a six-game advantage in the division as late as July 29.
"Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for us," Oakland first baseman Brandon Moss told the team's website.
Heading to the hill for the Astros in Tuesday's opener will be righty Jordan Lyles, who was awful his last time out. Lyles lost his fifth straight decision last Tuesday in Boston, as the Red Sox hammered him for eight runs and nine hits in just 4 2/3 innings to drop him to 4-6 on the year to go along with a 5.40 ERA.
He's given up at least three earned runs in each of his starts since July 4, and four or more in four of the five. He has also allowed nine or more hits in each of his last three starts. That's tied for the second-longest run in franchise history, and it makes him the first Houston hurler to be that hittable since Wandy Rodriguez gave up that many hits between May 28-June 8, 2012.
"My bad outings have been bad, real bad," Lyles said. "Offense came out (Tuesday) and put up some big numbers. I let it go, made the bullpen throw a lot of innings. It was a tough game to watch."