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Stranded: Athletics 2, Astros 1

Astros go 0-10 with runners in scoring position, drop 2nd straight game

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

During the fallow years for the Athletics (which there have been many), where attendance figures sometimes dropped down as low as the triple digits, the cavernous space of the (nee Oakland-Alameda County, nee Network Associates, nee McAfee) Coliseum was often referred to as "the Mausoleum". For the Astros in the last two games it has been a mausoleum where their offensive hopes go to die.

Perhaps I am being a little hyperbolic. The Astros did manage to out-hit the A's six to five.  Preston Tucker provided some spark with a solo shot in the fourth. Jose Altuve collected a couple of hits, extending his hitting streak at Coliseum to 19. Carlos Correa, though hitless, walked twice, contributing to a five-walk day for the Astros.

Getting on base was certainly not the problem, it was failing to knock them in that sunk the Astros. Ten times an Astros batter came to bat with runners in scoring position and ten times he was retired without plating any runs. It's no secret that this is a feast or famine offense, with feasts coming in the form of home runs and famines in the form of double digit strikeout games. Though the Astros only struck out five times today, Jesse Chavez and Co. managed to induce weak contact off Houston batters, especially in clutch situations. It wasn't a dominant performance by the Oakland pitching staff like Sonny Gray the previous night, though, with a little help from the gloves of Brett Lawrie and Sam Fuld (as well as the BABIP monster), it was enough to give Astros batters fits.

Lost in the shuffle, Collin McHugh pitched a solid, if inefficient game allowing two earned runs on five hits through 121 pitches in six innings. He struck out eight and allowed three walks. He's had a shaky and somewhat inconsistent summer, but he has been showing flashes of his superb 2014 season in these past couple of starts. Still, he picked up the loss, moving to 13-6 on the year.