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Astros 12, A's 2: Offense Explodes and Fister Deals

The Astros jumped on the A's with 7 runs in the first inning and never looked back, while Doug Fister had arguably his best start as an Astro.

Evan Gattis trots home after crushing a 2-run home run to left field in the 4th inning.
Evan Gattis trots home after crushing a 2-run home run to left field in the 4th inning.
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. That's what the Astros can think when they look back on the two starts that Jesse Hahn has made against them this season.

Hahn's first start against the Astros in 2016 was the final game of a gut-wrenching, highly disapponting April. In that game, Hahn didn't give up any runs and only allowed 3 hits through 6.2 innings en route to a 2-0 A's win that put the Astros a full 10 games under .500 at 7-17.

Tonight's start resembled Hahn's prior start against the Astros in only one way... it was the same two teams playing. He gave up 6 hits, 2 walks, and 7 runs (all earned) without making it out of the first inning, as the Astros got their 9th win in 11 games to pull within 4 games of .500 at 26-30.

The 1st Inning

Springer started the inning off with a single up the middle. Altuve followed with a walk before Correa went down swinging. Rasmus, who had a much-needed good night at the plate, got the scoring started with a single to drive in Springer. With 1 out, Altuve and Rasmus stole 2nd and 3rd to take away the double play. It worked out perfectly as Gattis grounded out, scoring Altuve. Valbuena walked on 4 pitches and Tyler White kept the line moving with a single to make it 3-0.

Tony Kemp then hit one of the most unique triples I've ever seen. The ball hit A's right fielder Chris Coghlan's glove, and then decided it wanted to be nowhere near him. The ball jumped out of his glove, ran away from him along the padding against the bullpen fence, then faked him out by hitting more padding to change directions. While the cat and mouse chase was going on, 2 runs scored and Kemp pulled into third base to make it 5-0.

Marisnick followed with a single, stole 2nd base, and then scored on Springer's second single of the inning. That was it for Jesse Hahn. Andrew Triggs came in and gave up a single to Altuve before striking out Correa.

When all was said and done, the Astros had scored 7 runs in one inning without hitting a HR. In fact, Kemp's triple was the only extra-base hit of the inning.

The Rest

The Astros cruised from there. They would score 5 more times before the A's got on the board. Gattis hit a 2-run bomb to left in the 4th, and Correa-Rasmus-Gattis hit back-to-back-to-back RBI singles in the 5th. Marcus Semien hit a solo shot off Tony Sipp in the 7th to put the A's on the board and Billy Butler hit an RBI double off Chris Devenski in the 8th to make it 12-2.

Fister's outing might get lost in all the excitement about the offense, and that's a shame. It was his first scoreless start as an Astro and arguably his best. His 4 hits and 2 walks given up were his lowest total base runners allowed in a start this year. That's one free agent signing that just keeps looking better and better.

Fun Facts

Every Astros hitter in the starting lineup had scored a run by the end of the 4th inning when the score was 9-0... meaning everyone scored once before anyone scored twice (try looking up the last time that happened).

George Springer has batted .396/.458/.698 with 4 HR, 10 RBI, and 9 runs scored in 12 games in the leadoff spot this year (his 2 for 5 performance tonight actually lowered his slash line).

Since rejoining the Astros after practicing catching in the minors, Evan Gattis has hit 6 HRs in 16 games. After going 4 for 5 with a HR tonight, Gattis has now hit 4 HRs and 10 RBI in 7 games at the catcher position.

Go 'Stros!