A’s Ryon Healy hits a grand slam and Oakland gets one over the Houston Astros 6-4

June 27, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics’ Ryon Healy (25) is congratulated by Jed Lowrie (8) after hitting a grand slam against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

by Jerry Feitelberg

Houston- The Oakland A’s won their fourth game in a row, all on the road, as they beat the Houston Astros 6-4 Tuesday night. The A’s, who had lost eight of nine so far this year and fifteen of the last seventeen against the Astros, finally found the recipe for success. The young A’s, behind a solid performance by Sean Manaea and the hitting of Ryon Healy, gave manager Bob Melvin reason to smile. The A’s have now won eight of the last twelve and are now seven games under the .500 mark with a record of 35-42 and are three games behind the Seattle Mariners for fourth place in the division. They no longer have the worst record in the American League as things have gone south for the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox.

The A’s manufactured a run in the top of the second inning. Astros’ starter, Mike Fiers, hit Khris Davis with a pitch. Davis stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell singled to drive in Davis, and the A’s had an early 1-0 lead. The Astros had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the second. Marwyn Gonzales singled with one out. Center fielder Jake Marisnick, who has hit A’s pitching very hard this season, doubled off the left-center field wall. Gonzalez, who should have been running with two out, was held at third. Manaea escaped damage when he struck out George Springer to end the inning.

The Astros tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Springer led off with an infield hit. Jose Altuve then singled to center to put men on at first and second with no out. Manaea, pitching very carefully to Carlos Correa, walked him to load the bases. The next hitter, Evan Gattis, who also has tormented the A’s ever since his arrival in Houston, hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Springer scored to tie the game. Manaea retired the next batter to escape any further damage.

The A’s rallied in the top of the sixth to score times. Matt Joyce and Jed Lowrie singled to get things started. Khris Davis popped out for the first out. Fiers walked Yonder Alonso to load the bases. Fiers retired the next hitter and now had to face Ryon Healy. With the count 3-2, Healy hit a big fly to right field that went over Springer’s glove into the seats for a grand slam. If Dave Niehaus were alive, the call would have been something like this:”Get out the mustard and rye bread, Grandma, it’s a grand salami.” It was Healy’s 18th round-tripper of the year and his first career grand slam.

The A’s added a run in the eighth on doubles to extend the lead to 6-1. Ryan Madson relieved Manaea with two outs in the sixth. He closed out the sixth and seventh innings for the A’s. Sean Doolittle did the same in the eighth. Melvin brought in Liam Hendriks to pitch the ninth and things did not go well for him. Hendriks did not retire a hitter as he gave up three runs on three hits. The big blow was George Springer’s 22nd home run of the year for Houston. Melvin brought in his closer, Santiago Casilla, and Casilla got the job done as he was able to finish off the Astros.

Game Notes- Sean Manaea’s record in now 7-4 for the year. Manaea went 5 and 2/3rds innings and allowed just one run, but he did allow a season-high nine hits.Houston’s Mike Fiers came into the game having been 4-0 with an ERA of 1.72 in his last five starts. His last loss came on May 20th.

Jharel Cotton is supposed to pitch for Oakland on Wednesday. However, Cotton developed a blister on his right thumb in his last start and may not be available. The A’s announced that shortstop Marcus Semien is on a rehab assignment at Single-A Stockton. It is estimated that he will need 35 to 50 at-bats before he can come off the DL. There is no word on the status of Kendall Graveman or Andrew Triggs at this time.

Game two of the three-game series will be Wednesday at 5:05 pm at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

 

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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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