The Astros looked poised to take a quick and easy second straight game from the A’s on Tuesday; instead, the bullpen again imploded, the lineup came up short, and Oakland came out ahead in eleven innings, 4-3.
Things got off to a relatively smooth start. Wade Miley struck out the side in the first and continued to cruise in the next inning. Meanwhile, Houston’s offense struck first in the bottom of the second; following a Michael Brantley leadoff single, Yuli Gurriel hit a ball that made it past a diving Ramon Laureano.
La Piña just felt like running! #TakeItBack pic.twitter.com/6UTNxEHynI— Houston Astros (@astros) July 24, 2019
One quick trip around the bases later, and it was 2-0, Houston. It’s not every day you get to see a score update of “Home run to center (293 feet)”. The Astros followed that by loading up the bases, but somewhat worryingly, no one else came in to score.
But that didn’t seem to matter for a while, because Wade Miley was throwing his best of the season so far. No one on the A’s would even reach first until there was one out in the sixth inning, and he was on the whole working incredibly fast. Of course, former Astro Mike Fiers had mostly settled down as well, allowing only a Michael Brantley double in the third and a Max Stassi single in the seventh. He might have survived Jose Altuve’s single in the eighth had Laureano not screwed up his throw on an Alex Bregman’s fly ball and allowed Altuve to advance.
Of course, that lackluster of offense couldn’t come back to bite them given how Miley was throwing, right? In his longest outing of the year, Wade came out to start the ninth, with just three hits and a walk allowed on the night, at which point, things quickly went south. A leadoff walk by Marcus Semien and a Matt Chapman single chased Miley from the game at 109 pitches. His final line was 8.0 innings, 4 hits allowed, 2 walks, and 6 Ks.
Roberto Osuna, who hadn’t allowed an inherited runner to score all season, came in and promptly gave up a home run to Matt Olson, leaving the Astros in a 3-2 hole. But hey, he retired the next three batters in order! Two of the three runs were of course charged to Miley, making what had been an incredibly start look a lot more mediocre.
The Astros did fight back in the bottom of the inning, with Yuli singling, Josh Reddick moving pinch runner Myles Straw to third, and Aledmys Diaz bringing in the tying run on a sacrifice fly. Unfortunately, that proved to be the last gasp for Houston’s hitters. Meanwhile, Oakland chained together a single, a walk, and a Laureano double to redeem himself to make the score 4-3 in the eleventh off of Collin McHugh. Things could have been even worse, but Laureano’s double was ruled a ground rule one on review, sending the second run back to third.
On the whole, Houston scored three runs on just 8 hits and two walks, with Yuli’s homer and Brantley’s double being the only non-singles. Max Stassi added two singles, but that was basically it for the offense.
Houston will try to win the series tomorrow at 1:10 PM CST, with Justin Verlander and Chris Bassitt facing off. Tonight’s loss drops the Astros down to 65-38, just 6.5 ahead of the Athletics in the AL West.