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Astros 6, A's 1: McHugh Dominates With 11 Strikeouts

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Astros pitching limits A's to one run, as the Astros power bats come alive

Bob Levey/Getty Images

What a difference a day makes.  On Tuesday, the Astros had traffic all over the bases but failed to score.  Wednesday night the scoring came much easier.  In the first inning, Jose Altuve started off with a double, his first of the young season.  Two batters later, Jed Lowrie hit a no-doubt home run over the Crawford Boxes for a quick 2-0 lead.  (Home runs are my favorite kind of hit with runners in scoring position, followed closely by every other type of hit tied for second.)  The A's would answer back with a run in the top of the second, but that is where their scoring ended.  The Astros kept hitting and tacking on runs.  In the third with 2 outs, George Springer singled, and Lowrie came through again with a double to right field, scoring Springer from first.  In the 5th inning, Jake Marisnick had a triple, and came home on Altuve's second hit of the night.  They added a homer from Luis Valbuena in the 7th, and the icing on the cake was an Evan Gattis bomb that almost hit the Conoco pump.  After such a huge slump with runners on base, the team was 2-4 with RISP.

Collin Mchugh looked great.  Through 5 2/3 innings he struck out 11 and walked none.  All those strikeouts took their toll on the pitch count, and after giving up a double with 2 outs in the 6th, he was pulled.  The bullpen came in and only allowed 2 baserunners through the rest of the game.  Even Chad Qualls with his well documented struggles last season against Oakland had an uneventful 8th inning.

The team has Thursday off, in preparation for facing the Angels starting on Friday.  Roberto Hernandez will face Jered Weaver in the opener.  First pitch will be at 7:10, give or take.

FUN FACTS

Lowrie extends his team lead in homers with 3.  Valbuena is second with 2.

Altuve had his second multi-hit game of the series, going 2-4.  He went 6-13 overall.

We got picked off first...twice.

Did I mention Evan Gattis hit a home run?

TWEET OF THE NIGHT