Astros pummel A’s 12-9 to sweep the four-game series

June 22, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Houston Astros pounded the A’s  12-9 on Thursday afternoon. The A’s starter, Jesse Hahn, hit the leadoff batter, George Springer, with a pitch that appeared to have struck him high on the shoulder. Springer fell to the ground, and after being attended to by the Astros’ trainer had to leave the game. Hahn was visibly disturbed by what happened and could not regain his confidence. Hahn took the loss and is now 3-5 for the ear. Hahn has been inconsistent all year, and his outing on Thursday could have been caused possibly by the departure of Stephen Vogt or the fact that he got unnerved when he hit Springer with a pitch in the first inning. David Paulino improved to 2-0.

The Astros scored two runs in the top of the first without the benefit of a hit. Hahn walked the next two hitters to load the bases, and two sacrifice flies drove in the runs. Hahn totally lost it in the second inning as Houston sent eleven men to the plate and scored eight runs on six hits. Two three-run homers highlighted the inning for Houston. Jake Marisnick and Marwin Gonzalez were the hitters that sent the ball out of the park. The late Baltimore Orioles skipper, Earl Weaver loved the three-run homer. Wherever Earl is these days, he has to be smiling at what the Astros did in the second inning. The Astros sent eleven men to the plate and led 10-0 after two innings of play. The A’s scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth to trail 10-1.

The Astros added a run in the sixth when former A’s star, Josh Reddick, hammered a Michael Brady pitch over the fence in right field for his seventh of the season. After the game, Reddick had this to say about the win over the A’s:”you always want to do well against your former team. I enjoy beating them, whether I go 0-for-4 or I go 4-for-four. So it is fun.” Reddick finished the day a single short of the cycle.. The A’s scored two more in the sixth to trail 11-3. The Astros scored another run in the eighth and led 12-3, and at the time it appeared that the A’s were cooked. However, the young A’s had other thoughts. In their half of the eighth, they rallied to score six times to make it a 12-9 game. Bruce Maxwell and Matt Olson had key hits in the inning. The Astros brought in Chris Devenski to pitch the ninth. Devenski retired the side in order as he struck out the side to preserve the win for Houston

Game Notes- The A’s announced on Thursday that they have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment. Vogt, a two-time All-Star, will either be waived, traded, or released in the next 10 days. Vogt was, not only a fan favorite but a leader on the club, will be missed. He was alway gracious to talk to the media and could be counted on for a quote about the day’s game. Vogt was always willing to bring the young players under his wing in the clubhouse. He helped Bruce Maxwell, the player who replaced Vogt at the catcher’s position. The A’s traded for Vogt as he is the type of player that personifies the A’s. Perhaps undervalued by his former team, the Tampa Bay Rays, Vogt arrived in Oakland in 2013 and played on two teams that made the playoffs. Vogt made the All-Star team in 2015 and 2016 but the team finished last in the AL West both years. The 2017 team is also headed for the basement again and the front office has decided to go with younger players as the continue to rebuild the club for the umpteenth time. Vogt’s departure will no doubt displease the fans and his teammates but baseball can be a cruel business. All the writers at Sports Radio Service wish Stephen the best of luck and we all hope he catches(no pun intended) on with a contender.

The A’s also placed Matt Chapman on the 10-day DL. Chapman has an infection in his knee, and the team hopes that antibiotic treatment will clear up the infection. Matt Olson was brought up from Nashville and Olson had two hits and two RBIs in the game. Chad Pinder had two hits and one RBI, and Bruce Maxwell hit safely three times and he, too, had one RBI. Bob Melvin said this about the players. “It was good to see these youngster battle back, too. Guys were putting together some really good at-bats at the end of the game.”

The A’ record for the 8-game homestand was 4-4. They swept the Yankees but then were swept by the Astros. Oakland is 31-42 for the year while Houston owns a record of 50-24. The Astros have now won ten straight at the Oakland Coliseum and 15 of the last 16 against the A’s.

The A’s are on their way to Chicago to play the White Sox for three games. Jharel Cotton will pitch for Oakland, and Mike Pelfrey will go for Chicago. Game time is at 5:10 pm.

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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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