By Charlie O. Mallonee
OAKLAND — The Oakland Athletics beat the Houston Astros 7-1 at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday afternoon and are now tied for first place in the American League West. Fans were in disbelief that the A’s (74-49) were in contention for the Wild Card in the AL, but now, the Green and Gold are fighting to win their division. Virtually none of those fans thought that was a possibility before the season began.
Strong starting pitching and power hitting was the key to the A’s win on Saturday.
Trevor Cahill (5-2) started the game for Oakland. He has been pitching the lights out in the Coliseum with an ERA under one at home. Cahill continued his mastery of opponents in his home stadium as pitched seven innings of shutout baseball, allowing the Astros just one hit. The right-hander struck out seven batters and walked just one. Cahill threw 100 (62 strikes).
The A’s also went on another power surge on Saturday as they hit eight doubles which tied an Oakland single-game record, but you were not allowed to hit just one double – you had to hit two. All of the extra base hits were recorded by four A’s hitters. Khris Davis (24), Stephen Piscotty (33), Matt Olson (26) and Josh Phegley (6) hit all of the “two-baggers” for Oakland versus Houston. The A’s posted a total of 11 hits in the contest.
- The A’s were trailing the Astros by 12 games back on June 18. Today they are tied for first place.
- Oakland’s 74-69 (.602) record is tied for third best in the majors. It is tied for fourth place in A’s history after 123 games.
- Khris Davis’ double in the first inning snapped a 0-13 hitless streak.
- Matt Olson’s two doubles extended his hitting streak to six games.
- Matt Chapman’s 14 game hitting streak and 30 game on-base streak came to an end on Saturday when he went 0-for-4 in the game.
- Add on Trevor Cahill: he retired 20 of the 22 batters he faced in the game. The A’s have won Cahill’s last seven starts.
- The A’s scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning which means the Astros opponents have now outscored them 56-55 in the first inning.
- Alex Bregman’s road on-base streak continues as he picked up a base-on-balls on Saturday. His streak currently stands at 38 games.
- The ‘Stros recorded just two hits in their loss on Saturday. It was just the third time this season they posted two or fewer hits in a game.
- Dallas Keuchel (9-10)–who was charged with the loss–saw his four-game road winning streak come to an end.
The A’s and Astros wrap up the three game series on Sunday at 1:05 pm PDT on Sunday.
The Astros will send RHP Justin Verlander (11-8, 2.52) to the mound in an attempt to salvage one win in the series. The A’s will go with their ace LHP Sean Manaea (11-8, 3.44). Manaea won his last start on Monday in Oakland over the Mariners 7-6. He is 1-1 in three starts versus the Astros this season.