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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.