By Charlie O. Mallonee
Coming home to the Oakland Coliseum has not been a good thing for the Oakland Athletics. After winning 11 consecutive games, the A’s have now lost four games in a row at home. They have also lost a second consecutive series at home.
The first-place Houston Astros downed the A’s 5-1 on Saturday night at the Coliseum behind the “lights out” pitching of Justin Verlander (9-2, 2.27 ERA). The perennial All-Star pitcher worked 8.0-innings allowing just one run (earned) off four hits. Verlander struck out eight Oakland hitters while walking just two.
The A’s only run of the game came in the second inning when Stephen Piscotty hit the first pitch from Verlander over the wall in right field for his seventh home run of the season.
Brett Anderson (6-4, 3.95 ERA) made the start for Oakland. He worked 5.1-innings giving up three runs (all earned) on eight hits. Anderson struck out two and walked two.
The A’s used two relief pitchers in the contest. Yusmeiro Petit pitched 2.2-innings of perfect baseball while striking out two Astros. Joakim Soria closed out the game pitching the ninth inning and giving up two runs off two hits (1 HR).
- Anderson has allowed five home runs in his last four starts after he gave up just one homer in his previous eight starts.
- Ramon Laureano recorded his sixth assist of the year on Saturday. The center fielder threw Robinson Chirinos out as he attempted to advance to second base in the fourth inning.
- Speaking of Laureano, he extended his career-long hitting streak to 14 games when he singled off Verlander in the fifth inning.
- Marcus Semien was ejected in the fifth inning of the game. It was the first time Semien has been ejected from a game in his career.
- Stephen Piscotty has possessed the hot bat for the A’s during this homestand. He went 2-for-4 on Saturday and he is batting .417 (10-for-24) with five runs, two doubles, two home runs, and four RBI in the eight games.
- Justin Verlander passed Cy Young for 21st on the all-time strikeout list (that’s impressive). Verlander is now for tied for the most wins in the Major Leagues with nine victories.
- Josh Reddick is happy to back in the Coliseum. He has hit home runs in consecutive games for the first time since September 15 and 16, 2018. Reddick is hitting .412 (7-for-17) with three home runs and five RBI in four games in the Coliseum this season.
- Michael Brantley now leads the MLB in multi-hit games after going 2-for-3 with a walk on Saturday. He has posted 27 multi-hit games. Brantley has recorded 72 hits already this season and is tied for first in the American League.
The Astros and A’s will wrap up their series on Sunday at 1:07 PM PDT. Houston will send RHP Gerrit Cole (5-5, 4.04 ERA) to the mound to try and make it a sweep over Oakland. The A’s will counter with RHP Chris Bassitt (3-1, 3.27 ERA) in order to try and stop their losing streak.