Against the most uncommon and maybe unproductive version you will ever see of the Astros’ lineup in the short run, the Athletics attempted a comeback and they were successful at it. On Friday night, Houston was defeated by Oakland with a 5-1 score, with a three-run seventh inning.
José Urquidy served as the Astros starter against the A’s and had his sixth straight quality start, but Houston couldn’t hit against Oakland pitchers, led by starting pitcher Cole Irvin, who’s having a strong month of July. Urquidy carried a scoreless outing until the seventh inning, when he was ambushed by Oakland. The young righty allowed hits to three of the four hitters he faced before being removed from the game.
Urquidy, who took (8-4) the loss for the first time since June 8, finished his night after 6 1/3 innings. He surrendered six hits and three earned runs, with no walks and nine strikeouts, his most since punchout out 10 hitters on May 22.
Offensively, the Astros got only four hits and their lone run of the game came thanks to a José Sirí sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. That was all for them. In fact, they didn’t get a hit until Alex Bregman’s two-out single in the fourth. Their lineup, due to injuries or merely a day off, didn’t include José Altuve, Michael Brantley, Yordan Álvarez, Yulieski Gurriel, Martín Maldonado, or red-hot Aledmys Díaz.
After Urquidy was done, Ryne Stanek had his 27th scoreless appearance in a row even though he allowed an inherited runner to score. Seth Martínez was the man in charge for the final two innings and he allowed a two-run shot from Skye Bolt in the top ninth to make it 5-1.
This is the first time the Astros kicked off a series with a loss since June 23 against the Yankees. However, they will get a second chance against the A’s this Saturday during the second game of the series. Justin Verlander will face lefty Jared Koenig.
P.S. I want to thank everyone who made a comment on last night’s recap about my health and my lousy day in the hospital. I want to let you guys know that, after struggling with high blood pressure, everything is under control right now thanks to the medication I’m taking since, well, yesterday. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I couldn’t be more grateful to write for you guys. Keep rocking and let’s extend this ride until the World Series!!!