MLB Scores: Athletics 9, Astros 3

Thomas B. Shea

Lucas Harrell had one bad outing as the Astros melted down in the series finale against the A's.

Lucas Harrell didn't have his control on Sunday, and it led to yet another blowout loss for the 2013 Astros.

Harrell walked five batters in 4 1/3 innings of work, giving up seven hits, eight runs and three home runs while striking out two. The right-hander said he had trouble hitting his spots all game.

"I didn't locate," Harrell said. "I was up in the zone and flat. I didn't make pitches when I needed to, but the big key was not locating the ball. When you get up in the zone and you're not locating and your ball is flat and you're a sinkerball guy, it's going to be a long day. The first inning I felt alright, but then I battled myself a lot. Carlos called a great game, but when you're not throwing it where he wants it, it's going to be a long day. A couple of times we made the right pitch and in the right location. But, instead of being down, it was up. When you're up in the zone, you're going to get hit."

Manager Bo Porter emphasized Harrell's control issues after the game, but said it was a team-wide effort by the pitching staff to get deeper into counts than they should.

"The entire staff struggled with command, " Porter said. "Doug (Brocail) and I just finished looking at it. In the three game series, they had 56 at-bats with five or more pitches. Again, we stress to our guys from the beginning of spring training that you have to attack the strike zone. If you don't, you're going to find yourself behind in counts and your pitch count is going to rise."

Former Astro Jed Lworie led the way, going 3 for 5 with a home run and two RBIs, while leadoff man Coco Crisp continued his demolition of Houston's pitching staff, going 2 for 4 with two runs scored, a double, a walk and a home run.

The lone bright spots on offense for Houston were Justin Maxwell, who went 2 for 3 with a run scored and a walk, and Chris Carter, who was 1 for 3 with a triple, a run scored and a walk.

Speaking of Carter's triple, let's get into the .gif portion of this recap:

Cartertriple_medium

Meanwhile, Brett Wallace does Astro things, but is saved by Xavier Cedeno.

Wallybootcedenosave_medium

Carlos Corporan erases Coco Crisp after that double I mentioned before:

Corporancscrisp_medium

Aaand Corporan is pretty fired up about it.

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Finally, J.D. Martinez makes a nice play on a sinking liner to left.

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Thanks to Tim for all his excellent work on the .gifs.

Post Game Audio

Bo Porter

Lucas Harrell

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