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Another Rookie Pitcher Gets It Done. J.P. France Holds the As. Astros Win 3-1

Tucker and Bregman provide just enough firepower.

MLB: Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t look now, but if J.P. France had enough innings to be a qualified pitcher ( and he almost does) he’d have the 13th-lowest ERA in baseball.

Today France went seven innings, allowing only one run on six hits and one walk with five Ks. He lowered his ERA to 3.13 in 77.2 IP. HIs road ERA is 2.18.

Where would the Astros be without France and Brandon Bielak?

I must add that France got some help from plays like this:

Offensively, it seemed like the Astros would never break out against As starter Hogan Harris, who came into the game with an ERA of 6.51. But in the sixth inning, two-out magic happened. Mauricio Dubon and Jeremy Pena singled, only the second and third Astros hits of the game, and Kyle Tucker doubled them home,

The Astros added a run in the ninth on a Breggy bomb to the seats in left-center field.

After France left the game with no outs in the eighth inning, Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly nailed down the win.

The Astros only got five hits against a staff that gives up six runs a game. And taking nothing away from France, but no one is mistaking the 2023 As with the 1927 Yankees. The As are last in baseball in runs scored.

Still, a win is a win. The Astros stay four games behind the Rangers in the AL West race and are tied for second with Toronto in the Wild Card race, three games ahead of the Red Sox.

Box score here.