Here in Astroland, we’ve come to expect the starting pitcher to throw at least a quality start every game.
Alas, tonight it was not to be, as Astros starting pitching had a rare meltdown. Maybe it’s because it was his third straight start in a row against the same team, or maybe he’s just inconsistent, but tonight Jake Odorizzi allowed the weak-hitting Oakland A’s six runs in only five innings, en route to a 7-5 Astros loss to the AL West cellar-dwellers.
As per usual, the Astros opened the scoring, this time on a first-inning solo homer by Jeremy Pena, his second in two games.
But the A’s answered in the third inning, also on a solo homer, this one by former Astro Tony Kemp, his second homer in two games as well.
The A’s piled on against the Astros Odorizzi in the fourth inning, starting with a Ramon Laureano double and a Chad Pinder walk. After an Elvis Andrus single scored Laureano, with one out, Tony Kemp doubled home, Pinder and Andrus.
Skye Bolt finished the onslaught with a homer, scoring Kemp.
But the Astros got back one run in the fifth on a Chas McCormick double that scored Aledmys Diaz, who led off the inning with a double.
The Astros made it a game again in the sixth inning, scoring two runs with a little help from sloppy A’s defense. The Astros began the inning with runners on first and second after a Pena double and a Yordan Alvarez walk.
Domingo Acevedo, who had just replaced A’s starter Adam Oller, made a pick-off throw to first with no one covering the bag. Pena scored, and Alvarez took third.
With two outs, Yuli Gurriel walked. While stealing second base, the throw to second base went into the outfield, allowing Alvarez to score from third.
After Odorizzi’s departure from the game with no outs in the sixth inning, Phil Maton and Ryne Stanek held the A’s until the eighth inning, when the A’s added a run on a Sean Murphy double and an Elvis Andrus single off Stanek.
The Astros added a harmless run in the ninth on a Chas McCormick solo homer. After the homer, they managed to put the tying runners on base, but they were stranded by Pena, who went flailing after three straight breaking balls from Lou Trivino, who got the save for the winning A’s.
The loss breaks up the Astros’ five-game winning streak and sets up a showdown between Luis Garcia and the A’s’ Frankie Montas.