By Charlie O. Mallonee @Charlieo1320
First, the Oakland Athletics defeated Justin Verlander (18-6) for the first time since 2013 on Thursday night. Secondly, they won the four-game series from the Astros 3-1 by winning the final game 3-2. The A’s record improved to 87-60 for the season.
The Athletics have now won three consecutive games and are now in sole possession of AL Wild Card Slot #1 by ½-game over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays lost on Thursday night to the Texas Rangers 6-4.
The A’s got to Verlander early
If you are going to beat Justin Verlander, you have to get to him early in the game. Oakland scored their first run of the game in the top of the first inning when rookie Seth Brown doubled to left field to drive Marcus Semien home to score the first run of the game.
In the top of the third inning, Marcus Semien led off with a single to left. With one out, Matt Olson hit a towering fly ball for a two-run home run into the upper deck in right field off a Verlander fastball. It was Olsen’s 32nd home run of the season.
That would be all the scoring for the A’s in the contest, but it would prove to be all they would need.
The A’s starter won the game
Homer Bailey made the start for Oakland and recorded the win (13-8). He worked 5.1-innings allowing just one run (earned) off three hits. Bailey struck out four Astros and walked three.
The A’s used five pitchers in the game.
Liam Hendriks picked up his 21st save of the season closing out the game for the A’s.
For the A’s: 3 runs, 6 hits, 1 error, 5 Left on Base
The A’s have to play outside in the heat and humidity of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex versus the Rangers. It should be about 92-degrees with 58-percent humidity at game time on Friday night.
The A’s will send RHP Chris Bassitt (10-5, 3.63 ERA) to the hill to face the Rangers LHP Brock Burke (0-1, 3.52 ERA). Bassitt won his last start versus the Tigers at the Coliseum last Saturday night.