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TEX@OAK: Griffin hurls seven frames of one-run ball

The Astros have been living on the edge as of late. Winners in four of their past eight games, seven of those games have been decided by one run.

Either way, manager Bo Porter is happy with the way his team has played.

"I think we're playing better baseball," Porter said. "That's what I've said all along, the season is 162 games long. You're going to have your spots where you're not going to play well and you're going to have your spots where you're going to play good baseball.

"We're hitting our stride at the point where we're playing much better baseball, and I believe we're going to start to win more games due the fact we're playing better."

The Astros will try to continue playing at that level in Saturday's game against the A's at Minute Maid Park.

Oakland manager Bob Melvin understands the challenge that the Astros present.

"They're swinging the bat a lot better, and they've moved their pitching staff around to where it seems like everyone has roles, and their starters here recently have gone deep into games," Melvin said. "They're just playing better all the way around."

A.J. Griffin will be on the hill for the A's, hoping to stop the Astros current hot streak. He's the perfect candidate, going undefeated (3-0) with a 2.00 ERA in four starts against American League West opponents this year.

Griffin is 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA in four starts in May after going 2-2 with a 4.65 ERA in five April starts.

In his last start against the Royals, Griffin allowed just three runs on seven hits in six innings for the no-decision. It marked the fourth straight start he has allowed three or fewer earned runs.

A's: Lowrie continues to sit with injured foot
• A's infielder Jed Lowrie was held out of the starting lineup for a second straight game on Friday while still experiencing discomfort in his contused right foot.

"It's a lot better," said Lowrie, who was hit by a Yu Darvish pitch on Tuesday. "It's not better to play, but the swelling has gone down. There's a lot more bruising, but I feel like I'm getting around on it a lot better and waiting for all the swelling to go away."

Both Lowrie and manager Bob Melvin didn't rule him out of playing in Saturday's game against the Astros.

• A's outfielder Josh Reddick took more than 20 batting-practice swings in Houston on Friday and said he "felt great." He suffered a right wrist injury that put him on the disabled list May 8.

Astros: Maxwell to begin rehab on Wednesday
• Houston outfielder Justin Maxwell, who's been out for a month with a fractured left hand, said Friday that he will travel to the club's extended spring training in Kissimmee, Fla., on Wednesday to begin a Minor League rehab assignment.

If all goes well, Maxwell said he will report to Class A Quad Cities within a week to continue his rehab.

"It's just sore because I hold my bat with the pinkies over the knob, so when I go through the hitting zone there's additional pressure on the fracture site," he said. "It's not getting swollen, and Dr. [Tom] Mehlhoff said as long as it's not swollen, it's fine."

• Lucas Harrell will be on the hill for Houston on Saturday, coming off of his best start of the season. He held Pittsburgh to one run on four hits in seven innings. However, he took a 1-0 loss.

Worth noting
• Right-hander Josh Fields, taken by the Astros in the Rule 5 Draft, has appeared in four games at Double-A Corpus Christi during his rehab assignment from a right forearm strain sustained in the first week of the season. Porter said the club would like to see Fields work consecutive games without any setbacks and hopes to make a decision on him within the next week.

• Against Houston back on April 16, Griffin allowed two runs on four hits in six innings in a no-decision.

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