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Houston Astros (47-95) at Oakland Athletics (82-60), 3:05 p.m. (CT)

Clemens and the Astros aiming to split series with the Athletics.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Houston at Oakland, 3:05 pm (CT)

TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Athletics SBNation Blog: Athletics Nation

Pitching Match

RHP Paul Clemens (4-4 / 2.90 ERA / 1.20 WHIP) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (14-6 / 4.38 ERA / 1.30 WHIP)

Preview

The Astros look across to the opposing dugout and see the example they're striving for. Before 2012, Oakland hadn't had a winning season since 2006. Look at the A's now, a team built from the inside and peppered with quality signings on pace to make the playoffs for a second straight season. And, possibly beat the Rangers out for a second season for the division crown. That's something every Astros fan can sign off on.

Paul "pinky" Clemens makes his third start of the season in Oakland today. He has not recorded a decision yet in his two starts, but he has a 3.72 ERA over 9.2 innings. In his most recent start, he lasted only 3.2 innings and gave up three earned runs. Clemens served up two solo home runs to Chris Colabello and Trevor Plouffe in that game.

Clemens, while in relief, has faced the entirety of the Athletics' lineup. Only three players have recorded a hit off Clemens, Chris Young has a single in three at-bats, Coco Crisp has a double in three at-bats, and Seth Smith is 1-for-1 with a solo home run. Finally, Brandon Moss has two strikeouts in three career at-bats against Clemens.

Bartolo Colon has returned from his 50-game suspension this past season and proved it was more the man than the medicine. Recording 19 quality starts over his first 22 appearances this season. He is currently touting a 2.90 ERA and 3.40 FIP (Courtesy of Fangraphs). But, the wheels may be coming off for the 40-year old pitcher. He has failed to get out of the fifth inning in his last four starts. Giving up five runs in two of those starts, and seven-plus hits each of those starts. This includes the Astros knocking Colon out of the game after four innings on August 13, where he gave up five runs on seven hits.

Colon is 2-1 in three starts against Houston this season with a 4.24 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. Jason Castro has had a field-day with Colon in his short career, 6-for-9 with a a home run and four runs batted in. Brandon Barnes is 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs batted in career. Only Chris Carter (1-10) and Matt Dominguez haven't found success against Colon in multiple at-bats.