Welcome home, Astros! After a 5-5 road trip, it is nice to have them back at MMP. It will be good to see if Scott Feldman can overcome the rejection of being placed on revocable waivers this past weekend to pitch effectively tonight. He has turned in 3 quality starts out of his last 4, including giving up 2 runs over 6 2/3 innings in a win against the Yankees last Wednesday.
Feldman made it through the first couple of innings pretty easily. In the 3rd, Eric Sogard led off with a double. With 1 out, Alberto Callaspo hit a grounder to Marwin Gonzalez, and caught Sogard in a rundown, which lasted long enough to allow Callaspo to get to second base. He came home on a double into the left field corner by Josh Donaldson. In the 4th inning, Brandon Moss hit a bloop single, followed by a Josh Reddick homer about 5 rows back in the Right Field stands. Feldman only allowed 2 more hits over the next 3 innings. He came out after the 7th, after giving up 3 runs on 7 hits and one walk. He also had 5 strikeouts, and left the game trailing 3-0.
On the offensive side, once again, there was nothing going on for most of the game. Jeff Samardzija started off looking a little wild, but settled down quickly. The Astros did not challenge him at all through the first 7 plus innings, only collecting 4 hits (two by Marwin) and one walk. With 2 outs in the 8th inning, Jose Altuve got on base with an infield single, and Chris Carter snuck a ball into the right field stands to make the score 3-2.
That ended up being a tease. The bullpen implosion came in the top of the 9th. Tony Sipp came into the game and walked the first batter he faced. Then he walked the second batter. Then he walked the third batter. Then he walked in the A's 4th run before manager Bo Porter finally (and mercifully) took him out of the game. Sipp's body language was bad on the mound. You could tell he didn't have it tonight, and he knew it. Jose Veras came in and got a pop up for out 1, but then gave up a 2-run double to Donaldson. With 2 outs Derek Norris hit a 2-run double to right, which made the score 8-2.
The Astros went down with a whimper (from me) in the 9th on a 5-4-3 double play. They had runners on first and third with one out, which would have been really exciting if the A's had not sent 9 men to the plate and scored 5 runs in the top of the inning.
Chris Carter's home run was his 31st of the year.
Marwin Gonzalez was the only other bright spot offensively, going 3-4 on the night.
The bottom three in the lineup went 0-9 with 6 strikeouts.
With Bill Brown out ill tonight (not a fun fact), we CSN Houston viewers were treated to The Wrangler, Larry Dierker as the color commentator working with Alan Ashby. I remember listening to him when I was younger. He still had good stories, although he has a bit of "angry grandpa" in him now.