Astros use five pitchers to shutout the A’s 6-0 on Saturday night in Houston

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Graphic: @athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics (6-6) lost their second consecutive game to the Houston Astros on Saturday as they were shutout by a combination of five Houston pitchers. The managed to pick up six hits off the Astros pitching, but only one of those hits was for extra bases.

Oakland went 0-for-5 with RISP and left a total of nine men on base. They struck out seven times and picked up four walks. It was a classic night where strong pitching dominated professional hitting.

Houston Hurlers

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Wade Miley on the mound Photo: @Astros

Wade Miley made the start for the Astros and worked 5.2-innings. Miley gave up no runs on four hits. He struck out four A’s batters and walked two hitters. Miley threw 95 pitches (56 strikes). He was credited with the win, which was his first for the season.

Will Harris, Josh James, Chris Devenski, and Framber Valdez combined to work 3.1-innings of scoreless relief for the Astros. The four relievers gave up just two hits and walked no Oakland hitters. The relief corps combined for three strikeouts.

Houston Offense (4-5)

Free-agent addition Michael Brantley led the Astros attack with the bat by going 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI. Brantley hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning which was his second HR of the season.

Yuli Gurriel had a 3-for-4 day with the bat. He added one RBI to his season total.

George Springer went 2-for-4 in the game versus A’s pitching. Springer hit his third home run of the young season off Aaron Brooks in the fifth inning. The round-tripper was a two-run shot.

The Astros scored six runs off 11 hits while leaving six runners on base.

A’s Pitching

Aaron Brooks really struggled in innings four, five and six. Brooks gave up five runs on nine hits. All five runs were earned. Brooks struck out two and walked out one. He also gave up two home runs.

The A’s used three relief pitchers–Yusmeiro Petit, Liam Hendricks, and Ryan Buchter, combined–to work the final three innings. They gave up no runs off just two hits. The relievers walked one and struck out two Astro hitters.

Brooks was charged with the loss – his first of the season. Brooks record is now 1-1 on the year.

Oakland hitting

Stephen Piscotty was the A’s leader with the bat. He went 2-for-3 at the plate and picked up the only Oakland extra-base hit. Piscotty also reached base via a walk.

Khris Davis, Chad Pinder, Kendrys Morales, and Mark Canha each picked up a base hit off Houston pitching.

Unfortunately for A’s fans, the Oakland hitters were unable to put those hits together to produce runs.

BoMel’s Thoughts

Manager Bob Melvin reaction after the game was that his team ran up against some great pitching and that is sometimes just too much to overcome. In other words, tomorrow is another day.

Up Next

The A’s and Astros will wrap up their three-game series on Sunday with a game that is scheduled to begin at 11:10 AM on Sunday morning. RHP Mike Fiers will make his fourth start of the season. His record is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA.

RHP Brad Peacock will make the start for the Astros. It will be his second start of the season. Peacock is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA.

Let’s Play Two Day in Oakland: Game Two A’s win 11-5 to sweep Doubleheader

Chad Pinder celebrates his second HR of the night Photo: Jordan Chapin Sports Radio Service

by Charlie O. Mallonee and Jordan Chapin

The Oakland Athletics had not swept both ends of a doubleheader since September 22, 1998 when they did it against the Detroit Tigers. The A’s ended that drought on Saturday as they swept the doubleheader from first-place Houston Astros (86-56).

Oakland won the second game 11-4 after having won the first game 11-1. You are not reading a typographical error. The last-place Oakland Athletics (62-80) just outscored the Houston Astros — the team with best record in the American League — 22 to 5 in a doubleheader.

The two victories also mean that the Athletics have won the opening three games of this four-game series with the Astros. No matter what happens on Sunday, the A’s have won this series with Houston.

The Athletics are now 41-33 at home for 2017 season. That means they have matched the Astros home win total for the season. Only Baltimore and Boston have more wins at home in the American League than do the Oakland A’s.

The big problem for the Athletics is they are 21-47 on the road which is the worst road record in the Major Leagues.

Game Two

Daniel Mengden took the mound for the A’s in the nightcap. After being with the big club briefly early in the year, Mengden spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Nashville. The A’s have always had big hopes for Mengden but things have not worked out the way either party would have liked things to go.

Saturday Mengden worked six innings giving up three runs (two earned) on two hits. He struck out four Astros, walked two and gave up one home run. Manager Bob Melvin was pleased with his starter’s performance.

The outing was also Mengden’s longest of the year in the majors. He went just 3.1 and 4.2 innings in his two previous starts at the beginning of the season.

On the hill


  • The game got very shaky for the A’s when the bullpen took over in the seventh inning. Sam Moll faced two batters and gave up a double to Carlos Beltran followed by a single to Brian McCann that moved Beltran to third. That was all for Moll who would be charged with an earned run after Beltran scored on a sacrifice fly.
  • Chris Hatcher 1-1) took over for Moll and ultimately picked up the win in the game. He not only shut down the scoring in the seventh, but he pitched a scoreless eighth inning as well. Managers love relievers who can post “Goose Eggs” in the score book.
  • Santiago Casilla worked the ninth inning and also put up a “Goose Egg” (zero runs) on no hits with one strike out and one walk.


  • Brad Peacock (10-2, 3.05) made the start for the Astros and had the game under control until the sixth inning when the A’s figured him out. Peacock went 5.0-innings giving up two runs (both earned) on five hits while striking out nine. Matt Olson’s two-run home run in the sixth chased Peacock from the game. He did not figure in the final decision.
  • The Astros used four relief pitchers and they all broke the rule of the “Goose Egg”. Each reliever gave up at least one run. Michael Feliz gave up four. It was a bloodbath.
  • Chris Devenski (8-4) took the loss. For those of you who are still into antiquated stats, he was also charged with blown save number six of the season.

In the batter’s box

Franklin Barreto scores go ahead run in the seventh inning Photo: Jordan Chapin Sports Radio Service


  • So many stories — so little time.
  • Boog Powell went 2-for-4 with three Rbi and a run scored
  • Chad Pinder hit two home runs in the game (13,14). One home run tied the game and the other just “Wowed” the crowd.
  • Matt Olson went 2-for-4 with a home run, run scored and two Rbi.
  • Franklin Barreto was 2-for-4 with a triple, Rbi and two runs scored.
  • Oakland scored 11 runs on 14 hits. They were 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The A’s left just four runners on base.
Boog Powell rounds the bases after his home run Photo: Jordan Chapin Sports Radio Service


  • Carlos Beltran went 2-for-4 with a double and run scored.
  • Josh Reddick (1-for-3) extended his hitting streak to eight games.
  • Jose Altuve hit his 10th career home run against the A’s in the sixth inning. He was 1-for-4 with two runs and an Rbi in game two.

Star of the doubleheader has to go to the Athletics Matt Olson

The rookie first baseman went 4-for-7 in the two games with a home run (16), a double, two Rbi and two walks. Olson is one of the big reasons the A’s feel their future is very bright.

Barton’s big blow opens floodgates against the Rangers

By Morris Phillips

Unlikely, and typical at the same time, the signature moment in the A’s 11-4 win over the Rangers Wednesday, of course, involved Daric Barton.

The Coliseum crowd’s reaction said it all as disbelieving cheers pervaded as Barton’s lofty drive approached the right center field wall.

Could the journeyman turn powerful, against Yu Darvish, one of baseball’s best pitchers? Barton’s major league career since 2010 had slowed to a crawl, much due to his inability to integrate extra-base pop into his otherwise solid, overall game. And the odds of Barton changing his portfolio against a top pitcher in one of the biggest moments of the season would have to be astronomical.

Given that backdrop, the home crowd chose to reserve judgment as Barton’s drive took flight. The A’s led 3-2 in a tense, series finale that would decide who would lead the AL West with 23 games remaining. Darvish had struggled to that point, allowing Brandon Moss’ two-run shot in the first inning and walking Albert Callaspo to lead off the sixth. The tall right hander had fussed with catcher A.J. Pierzynski earlier when his pitches started to miss their targets. Darvish’s 2-2 pitch to Barton offered an opening but surely not one that Barton would take advantage of.

“When we face a good pitcher, what were we going to do?” Brandon Moss would say after the game. “Were we going to be shut down, or were we going to do be able to score some runs? That’s been a question mark for us the last couple of years.”

But in recent weeks, the A’s have responded, beating Anibel Sanchez, Justin Verlander and David Price while taking wins leader Max Scherzer to the wire. Barton’s back and forth travels between Oakland and Sacramento removed him from much of the A’s transformation, but in a big spot against Darvish, he got his chance to impact his team’s fortunes in the biggest way.

Barton’s ball did clear the fence. And the A’s enjoyed a six-run sixth inning that blew the game open and tilted the tight divisional race towards Oakland. After winning 24 of 34—the best record in the majors over that span—Texas hasn’t been able to escape the A’s. What’s worse for the Rangers is the A’s have a kinder schedule down the stretch, with three games at Arlington standing as their only remaining games against a winning club.

Barton’s two-run shot gave the A’s 28 homers over the most previous 17 games further proof that Oakland has become the majors’ best at big swinging in the biggest moments. Rangers’ pitching allowed four homers on Wednesday showing that it wasn’t their day. But the A’s hit those Rangers’ pitches coming up big like Barton did in the sixth.

“It shows that we have a pretty good lineup on any given day,” Josh Donaldson said. “No matter who’s on the mound, we can put up some runs. This is a great time right now for our offense to get it going.”

Barton was with the A’s for just 67 games in 2011 and 46 games in 2012. During last season’s playoff push, Barton was relegated to the River Cats. After hitting .143 in May of this season, Barton was designated for assignment. In his seven-year career, Barton’s hit just 28 home runs and he seemed like the last guy manager Bob Melvin would feel comfortable with in a hot playoff race.

But since Josh Reddick went down, Barton has started at first base in seven of 10 games. His defense has been outstanding as always, but also his bat, hitting .320 in 25 at-bats.

On Thursday, the A’s welcome the Astros with a pitching matchup of Sonny Gray and Houston right hander Brad Peacock at 7:05pm.