Astros score early to down the A’s again 8-4

June 20, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Houston Astros bombed A’s starter, Sonny Gray, for five runs in the first inning. Gray recovered and pitched well for the next four innings, but the A’s offense couldn’t get Sonny off the hook as the Astros beat the A’s 8-4. The A’s did rally and trailed at one point 5-4, but the Astros scored two in the eighth and one in the ninth to win their 48th game of the year. Francis Martes won his second game of the year for Houston, and he is now 2-0. Gray’s record dropped to 2-3

.The Astros jumped all over Sonny Gray in the very first inning as they sent ten men to the plate and scored five runs on five hits. Right fielder George Springer got things going when he led off the game with his twenty-first homer of the year. Gray walked the next hitter, former Athletic Josh Reddick Jose Altuve reached on a bunt to put men on at first and second with no out. Carlos Correa hit into a double play to send Reddick to third. It was at this point that it appeared that Sonny was going to escape without any further damage, The Astros had other ideas. Catcher Brian McCann doubled to drive in Reddick with the second run of the inning. Gray walked Carlos Beltran to put men on at first and second for the second time in the inning. First baseman Yuli Gurriel doubled to drive in McCann. Alex Bregman singled to drive in Beltran and Gurriel.

The A’s scored a run in the bottom of the first. With two out, Jed Lowrie beat, hitting left-handed, beat the shift as he singled through the hole on the left side of the infield. He scored when Khris Davis hit a towering fly ball to right field that went off the wall for a double. Astros lead 5-1 after just the first inning of play.

The A’s Chad Pinder hit a solo homer in the bottom of the third. Pinder’s blast traveled about 400 feet and landed well into the bleachers in left field.  For Pinder, it was his ninth dinger of the season.The A’s now trail 5-2.

The A’s added another run in the fourth. Khris Davis singled sharply to left field to get the rally started. He went to third on a double by Yonder Alonso. Ryan Healy hit a sacrifice fly to left that allowed Davis to tag up and score. Stephen Vogt walked, but the rally ended when the Astros’ second baseman, Jose Altuve, made a fantastic diving stop of a ball heading into centerfield and started a 4-6-3 double play to end the A’s threat.

The A’s continued to chip away at the Astros’ lead. They plated one more run in the seventh. Rajai Davis, playing left field, doubled to start the inning. With one out, Jaycob Brugman singled to drive in Rajai with the fourth run of the night for Oakland. After seven innings of play, Houston is clinging to a 5-4 advantage as the game heads into the eighth inning.

The Astros parlayed a double, two walks and a single to score two more runs to take the lead 7-4 in the middle of the eighth inning.  The Astros added another run in the top of the ninth. Michael Brady, making his Major League Debut at age 30, served up a gopher ball to the first batter he faced. Who was the hitter? None other than Carlos Beltran. Beltran, who has over 400 career homers, hit his tenth of the season. The A’s threatened in the bottom of the ninth but Houston’s reliever, Dayan Diaz, was able to get out of the inning unscathed and Houston won by a final score of 8-4.

Game Notes- The A’s are now nine games under the .500 mark with a record of 31-40. The Astros won their eighth straight game at the Oakland Coliseum and have won 12 of the last 13 against the A’s. The A’s are now 22-15 at home compared to 9-25 on the road. The A’s committed another error and now gave 66 for the season. The A’s have not had a complete game pitched since August 19th of last year.

Game three of the four-game series will be played Wednesday night at the Coliseum. Game time will be at 7:05 pm. Sean Manaea with a record of 6-3 will be looking to win his seventh of the year and the Astros will have Mike Fiers pitching for them.

Time of game was three hours and twenty-eight minutes and 15,352 people watched as the A’s went down to defeat.

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About rxslugger

Retired pharmacist who now has a career as a sports writer and broadcaster

View all posts by rxslugger

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