The last time the Oakland A’s were at Minute Maid Park they won three out of four, and suddenly fans began to talk about a real race for the AL West crown. Last time the Astros returned the visit to Oakland the A’s stole another series, and some were starting to question whether the World Champion Astros still had the hunger.
When the A’s went up tonight 4-0 with two, 2 run homers, one by Marcus Semien in the second, the other by Matt Chapman in the third, it felt like the A’s voodoo was still working.
Here we go again. The overachieving A’s must be this year’s TEAM OF DESTINY. You can’t beat fate.
With one out in the Astros’ third, Martin Maldonado singled. Then George Springer doubled. Then Alex Bregman doubled. Then Jose Altuve doubled. After a sharp line out by Carlos Correa, Marwin Gonzalez singled. Then Tyler White singled. Then Evan Gattis singled.
Just like that the Astros deposed A’s starter Brett Anderson and took the lead, 5-4.
Astros starter Gerrit Cole would not surrender another run before handing the ball to Collin Mchugh in the seventh. He, Ryan Pressly, and Joe Smith would keep the A’s at four runs for the game.
Meanwhile, Bregman and White, just for spite, would pile it on the A’s, each with three run homers in the eighth. It was as if they were telling the A’s “we’ve been in bigger games than this, and we’ve overcome longer odds to win. Who do you think you’re kidding?”
With tonight’s win the Astros have stretched their lead over the A’s in the AL West to 2.5 games.
Here’s Bregman’s opposite field homer in the eighth.
Man it’s great to have all of the Core Four back again hitting 1-2-3-4 in the line up. It’s been about two months since we’ve seen the real Astros in action.
All nine starters had at least one hit tonight. All but one had at least one RBI or one run scored. The offense had 16 hits, 4 doubles and 2 home runs.
Alex Bregman had a homer, a double and 2 singles. Jose Altuve was 2-4 with a double. Marwin Gonzalez stayed red hot from both sides of the plate, going 3-4 with a double. And the Great White is still in a frenzy, going 2-4 with a single and a homer. His OPS for the season after tonight is 1.020.
In their last five games the Astros have scored 41 runs on 64 hits. That’s about 8 runs a game and 13 hits. Like a mighty thoroughbred it seems the Astros have saved a little extra for that kick at the end of the stretch run.
The A’s were the ones supposedly coming in with the hot bats. Let’s see if tomorrow, their guy, Edwin Jackson can do a better job of holding down the Astros, or if the A’s can get a little more off of Charlie Morton in tomorrow’s second game of the series than they got off Gerrit Cole tonight.
Game time 7:10 CDT.
Box score and videos here.
Drive on Stros