by Jerry Feitelberg
AP photo: Houston Astros pitcher Doug Fister delivering pitch in the first inning puts a fist in the Oakland A’s hitting with a shutout on Wednesday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum
OAKLAND–The A’s were hoping to get a sweep against the Houston Astros Wednesday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. The A’s had Houston native Daniel Mengden on the mound looking for his second victory of the year. Houston’s Doug Fister, however, stopped the A’s cold as he went seven innings and allowed just four hits and he won his tenth game of the year beating the A’s 7-0. Mengden’s record is now 1-5. He gave up three runs and five hits and left the game after five innings. The A’s had no offense, no pitching, and no defense as they lost for fifty-third time this season.
The Astros struck first in the top of the first. With one out, Marwin Gonzalez, playing left field, singled. The second baseman, Jose Altuve, batting .354 and leading the AL in hitting, followed with a single. Mengden walked Carlos Correa to load the bases. Luis Valbuena grounded into a fielder’s choice, and that allowed Gonzalez to score. Mengden retired Colby Rasmus to end the inning.
The Astros scored two more in the second. Mengden retired the first two hitters, but he could not retire any one of the next five hitters. The Astros rally consisted of a walk, double, walk, single and another walk that produced the two runs. The Astros lead 3-0 in the middle of the second.
The Astros put two more on the board in the eighth. Rookie lefty Patrick Schuster gave up a double and two walks to load the bases for the ‘Stros Jose Altuve. Altuve blooped a single that drove in the two runs for Houston. They lead 5-0 heading into the A’s half of the inning. Houston plated another two in the ninth. Schuster retired the first two batters but a single, triple and doubled produced the runs. Houston owns a commanding 7-0 lead with the A’s coming up in the bottom of the ninth. Houston reliever Chris Devinski retired the A’s in order to end the game.
Game notes- The A’s are 4-2 since the All-Star break and now fall to 7-9 in July. The A’s record is now 42-53. Daniel Mengden is now winless in his last four starts. Yonder Alonso and Ryon Healy both had their four-game hitting streaks snapped. Josh Reddick was 2-for-4 and has hit safely in his last three games. Stephen Vogt hit safely in his seventh straight game.
The Houston Astros are now 51-44 for the season and are 34-16 since May 23rd. Fister is 10-6 for the year and leads the Astros staff with the ten wins. Jose Altuve has reached base safely in 35 straight games, which is the longest streak by an Astro player since Jeff Bagwell had a 51-game streak from September 23rd, 1998 to July 31st,1999.
The Tampa Bay Rays arrive in Oakland for a four-game set with the A’s starting Thursday night. The A’s Sonny Gray (4-8,5.12) will pitch for the Green and Gold. Lefty Matt Moore will pitch for the Rays. Moore’s record is 5-7, and his ERA is 4.33. Game time will be 7:05 PM at the Oakland Coliseum.
Time of game on Wednesday was three hours and six minutes. 20,231 fans watched the A’s go down to defeat.