A’s call up Jake Smolinski, but Astros win in yet another laugher 13-5

June 13, 2018

Oakland Athletics, MLB

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND — The Houston Astros continued their dominance over the Oakland A’s once again as they won in a laugher 13-5 at O.co Coliseum on Wednesday night.

The Astros are now 7-1 against the A’s this season and have won 26 of the last 34 games played between the two teams. Houston has won all five games played here in Oakland, and they must just salivate when they get on the plane to face the A’s.

The Astros changed the words of the late mayor of Boston, James Curley, who once said, “Vote often and early” to score often and early. They plated three runs in the first and seven in the second. Their designated hitter, Evan Gattis, homered twice and drove in five runs as he waged war on the A’s pitchers. Gattis has three homers and 10 RBIs in two games played thus far. The A’s are likely hoping that Gattis will be too tired to play on Thursday.

The Astros continued their onslaught on the A’s pitching staff in the very first inning of the game. George Springer and Jose Altuve singled to get Houston going. Blackburn walked Carlos Correa to load the bases with no out. The cleanup hitter, Yuli Guriel, who leads the league in batting average (.444) with RISP (Runners in Scoring Position) singled to put two runs on the board for the Astros. Correa went to third on the play and scored on an Evan Gattis sacrifice fly. The Astros led 3-0 with the A’s coming to bat. The A’s didn’t score in their half.

The Astros sent 10 men to the plate in the top of the second. They had six hits and scored seven runs. A’s manager Bob Melvin had to go to the bullpen as the Astros had their attack in full gear. The Astros scored three times and had two men on with one out when Melvin brought in Emilio Pagan to face Evan Gattis. Gattis, who drove in five runs on Tuesday, slammed his 12th bomb of the year to put the Astros ahead 9-0. Marwin Gonzalez, playing third base, followed with his fifth homer to put the Astros in the lead 10-0 in the middle of the second inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Oakland put three on the board. Khris Davis started the frame with a single. Gerrit Cole retired the next two hitters before walking Marcus Semien. A’s right fielder Stephen Piscotty took Cole deep for his fourth home run of the year to make it a 10-3 game.

The A’s continued to chip away at the lead as Khris Davis led off the bottom of the sixth with his 18th tater of the season. Cole escaped with no further damage. The A’s still have a long way to go to get back into the game as they trail 10-4 after six complete.

Gattis continued to punish Oakland pitching. He hit his second home run of the night on the first pitch from lefty Daniel Coulombe to make it 11-4. Gattis has faced Coulombe three times and has homered twice.

Melvin brought in outfielder Jake Smolinski to pitch the ninth. Smolinski was making his  Major League debut as a pitcher. Things did not go well for him as he gave up a double to Max Stassi and Jake Marisnick homered to give Houston the lead 13-5. Smolinski retired the next three hitters. The A’s went down in order in the ninth to end the game. The Astros won 13-5.

Game Notes and Info: With the win, the Astros improve to 44-25 and remain just 1/2 game behind the Seattle Mariners in the race for first place in the AL West. The Mariners beat the LA Angels earlier in the day.

Gerrit Cole was the winning pitcher. Cole is 8-1 for Houston this season. He went six innings and gave up six hits and four runs.

Two of the A’s hits were home runs by Stephen Piscotty and Khris Davis.

A’s starter Paul Blackburn had a very rough outing. He lasted just 1 1/3 innings. He gave up eight hits and was charged with eight runs. Emilio Pagan relieved him in the second inning, and Pagan gave up back-to-back home runs to Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez. The hitting stars for Oakland were Khris Davis with two homers and Stephen Piscotty with a three-run blast. Blackburn’s record is now 1-1, and his ERA rocketed from 1.50 to 11.05.

There were just 9,164 fans in the park watching, and the game took three hours and five minutes to play.

Up Next: The two teams conclude the three-game series Thursday afternoon at 12:30 pm PDT.

Oakland will send Frankie Montas to the Hill. Montas has won all three of his starts since being recalled from Nashville, and he has a 1.25 ERA.

Justin Verlander (8-2, 1.45 ERA) will pitch for 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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