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El Oso Blanco Bearhugs A’s. Astros strangle Oakland 6-3

Gattis 5 RBI, McCullers’ strong 7 innings give Astros 6th straight.

MLB: Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Gattis has been written off many times in his life, having to overcome addiction, leaving baseball and working as a janitor, playing in the Venezuelan League where he was called El Oso Blanco. For Evan Gattis the road to the Big Leagues has been a struggle.

And after his struggles the first month this year, many were the voices saying, “his best years are over. His life has been too rough. He’ll never swing the bat again like a big leaguer.”

In March and April the every day designated hitter had only one home run and 8 RBI. In the six weeks since El Oso Blanco roars, with 10 home runs and 29 RBI.

Tonight he had five RBI on a 3 run home run, his 11th in the second inning, and later on a two run double, a grounder to the left of the shortstop that was hit so hard it still made it to the left field fence past the center fielder.

It was all the run support the Astros would need, although Carlos Correa, just back from a four game hiatus due to injury, opened the scoring with a solo homer in the second, his 11th.

On the defensive side Lance McCullers pitched seven strong innings, overcoming some early hard luck to hold the A’s to 2 runs. He scattered 5 hits and 3 walks, striking out five A’s.

In the eighth inning Collin McHugh would allow an unearned run virtue of Carlos Correa’s only error this season on a tough play to his left. He had gone 70 games without an error, far surpassing the previous Astros record for a shortstop by defensive wizard Roger Metzger.

Brad Peacock finished the eighth inning with a strike out, leaving the bases loaded, and Ken Giles showed up this time for the close, easily earning his 11th save, striking out two.

The losing pitcher was former aggie and Astros draftee Daniel Mengden, 6-6. The winner was McCullers, now 8-3.

Box score and videos here.