Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 8/12/13
The Oakland Athletics lost sole possession of the AL West lead last week after one of Bartolo Colon's worst outings. Now sitting in second place, the A's will try to regain the advantage with a series at home against a woeful Houston Astros team they've dominated. A healthier Colon might have a good chance to help Tuesday night, given his recent performances against them. The A's had a six-game lead in the division July 29 but frittered away the last of that edge with a 6-5 loss in Cincinnati on Wednesday. Colon (14-4, 2.75 ERA) gave up five runs - the most he's allowed since May - and seven hits with three walks in a season-low 2 2-3 innings. Colon was 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA in his previous five outings. He said after the game, in which he threw only 37 of his 67 pitches for strikes, that he had been dealing with a stomach virus. "It is no excuse," he said through interpreter Ariel Prieto. "I wasn't throwing strikes like I did before the All-Star game." Oakland (67-50) kept its deficit behind red-hot Texas at one game by winning the last two days in Toronto after dropping seven of nine. Alberto Callaspo helped give his team a 5-1 victory Monday by hitting his second tiebreaking two-run double in as many days. "Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for us," first baseman Brandon Moss told the team's website. The A's will try to keep heading in the right direction against a major league-worst Astros team that has lost 31 of 38. Houston (37-80) was no-hit through 7 1-3 innings in a 2-1 loss to Texas on Monday, its season high-tying sixth in a row. Carlos Corporan broke up Yu Darvish's bid at history with a solo homer, but Houston didn't get another runner on base. Oakland is 16-2 all-time against the Astros and 11-1 this season, hitting 18 homers and averaging 6.7 runs. The A's have never lost in six home games versus Houston, including three from April 15-17. Colon is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts against the Astros this year without walking a batter. The right-hander has a chance to join Detroit's Max Scherzer as the majors' only pitchers to reach the 15-win mark. He'll pitch opposite a struggling Jordan Lyles (4-6, 5.40). The right-hander is 0-3 with an 11.17 ERA in his last four starts after losing to Boston last Tuesday, getting charged with eight runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 15-10 defeat. "My bad outings have been bad, real bad," Lyles said. "I'm just trying to stay away from them." Lyles will face Oakland for the first time, but Chris Young has plenty of experience against him, going 5 for 9 with a home run and a double. The A's are hoping Coco Crisp can return after sitting out Monday with an injured wrist. He's batting a team-best .386 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 11 games versus Houston this season. Jason Castro, riding a 10-game hit streak, is batting a team-best .375 with three homers this season against Oakland. Castro and Jose Altuve missed Monday's game because of nagging injuries, but neither is considered serious.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mirza Teletovic diagnosed with pulmonary emboli in both lungs

Did Cavaliers troll Lonzo Ball with pregame music?

Andrew Luck reportedly will not need second shoulder surgery

Broncos reportedly will target quarterback during offseason

WATCH: George W. Bush narrates emotional Houston Strong video

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rams punter Johnny Hekker selling LA fire relief T-shirts for charity

Mayweather-McGregor is second-highest PPV fight in history

Diamondbacks reportedly may be willing to eat some of Zack Greinke’s salary

Giants' Eli Apple fined for violating NFL's Twitter policy

Vikings' Anthony Barr gets hate mail from Packers fan

Troubling details emerge over treatment of women at ESPN

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Eight NFL teams who simply need to start over

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Newcomers help Predators get back to 'Smashville' hockey

How Buddy Hield became the NBA's newest sniper

NFL MVP Watch: Antonio Brown enters suddenly wide-open race

The 'Is there anything Brown can't do for you?' quiz

Matt Barnes and the looming end of the NBA's enforcers

25 players to watch in the pre-Christmas bowls

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

The 'Is there anything Brown can't do for you?' quiz

Newcomers help Predators get back to 'Smashville' hockey

How Buddy Hield became the NBA's newest sniper

NFL MVP Watch: Antonio Brown enters suddenly wide-open race

The 'To the Victor, go the spoils' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker