Photo credit: @Athletics
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Houston Astros, who had struggled when they had three All-Stars on the DL, pounded the Oakland A’s at Minute Maid Park on Monday night by a score of 11-4. Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Carlos Correa, are all back in the Astros’ lineup and they showed the A’s why they are the defending World Series champions.
The A’s scored two in the second and two in the third on the strength of a two-run Marcus Semien blast in the second and a two-run Matt Chapman big fly in the third to lead 4-0 halfway through the third.
The Astros put five on the board in the bottom of the third. With one out, Martin Maldonado singled to start the rally. The Astros then hit three consecutive doubles to close the gap to 4-3. George Springer, Alex Bregman, and Jose Altuve all doubled. Marwyn Gonzalez singled to drive in Altuve with the fourth run of the frame. Gonzalez advanced to second on the throw home and he scored on Tyler White’s single to put the Astros ahead 5-4.
Neither team was able to put any runs on the board until the bottom of the eighth. Houston scored six times in the bottom of the eighth to put the game out of reach. Rookie Lou Trivino gave up a single to Josh Reddick. Reddick went to third on Nick Martini’s fielding error. Trivino retired Maldonado for the first out, but walked Springer. Bregman homered to up the lead to 8-4. Altuve walked and that ended the night for Trivino.
A’s manager Bob Melvin brought in Emilio Pagan to pitch. Pagan, who was recalled from Nashville due to Sean Manaea going on the DL, retired Carlos Correa for the second out. He then walked Gonzalez and was rocked by a blast by Tyler White. The A’s did not score in the ninth and the game was over. The Astros won 11-4
Game Notes: With the loss, the A’s fall to 79-53 and are now 2 1/2 games behind the Astros.
A’s Brett Anderson took the loss. His record is now 3-4. He went just 2 2/3 innings and gave up seven hits and five runs.
Astros’ Gerrit Cole was not at his best, but he still received credit for the win. His record is now 12-5. He pitched six innings and allowed four hits and four runs.
Astros’ Alex Bregman and Tyler White each homered. Both players had four RBIs.
After the game, Bregman had this to say about the recent success of his team: “We just had to get right. If we’re healthy, we’re the best team in the world.”
Up Next: Game two of the three-game series will be at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night at 5:10 pm PDT.
Edwin Jackson (4-3, 2.97 ERA) will go for the A’s. The Astros will counter with Charlie Morton (13-3, 3.05 ERA). Neither pitcher was effective the last time they pitched. Jackson was rocked by the Rangers and Morton was tagged for six runs by the Mariners.