In their first series of the season, the A’s swept the Astros in a three-game set. The A’s delivered a statement in this series against the early season division favorites. It looks as if it may be Oakland’s division to lose. Oakland has now won nine in a row and is the hottest team in baseball at the moment. As for Houston, they are losers of five in a row and sit at 6-9.
Oakland got a good start from Chris Bassitt who went seven innings, allowing one run and three hits. Bassitt has allowed only two runs in 16.2 innings. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh, Robbie Grossman tied the game with a solo shot.
The A’s pulled it out in 13 innings, 3-2 the final.
The A’s got another great outing from their starting pitcher in the second game. Frankie Montas went seven, limiting the Astros to two hits and no runs.
After winning the game the prior night, Marcus Semien gave the A’s a fast start. Semien homered to lead off the game. The shortstop became the first A’s player in history with a game-ending hit and a leadoff home run in back-to-back games. Matt Chapman added a round-tripper and an RBI groundout.
That was all Oakland needed. Liam Hendricks shut the door in the ninth, recording his fifth save of the year. The A’s won 3-1.
The A’s got off to a quick start. In the second, Robbie Grossman belted a home run to right. The very next inning, Matt Olson and Matt Chapman went back-to-back, making it a quick 5-0 lead.
Mark Canha provided an RBI infield single and Chapman would add to his total with an RBI double in the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, things got a bit testy. Ramon Laureano was hit by a pitch for the third time in the series. Laureano began exchanging words with Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron, left first base, and sprinted towards him. Benches cleared and players that were sitting in the stands also rushed onto the field.
Laureano and Austin Allen were ejected from the game.
Oakland batters were hit five times in the series while Astros batters were not hit at all in the series.
In the end, the A’s took the third and final game, 7-2.
What we learned
The A’s now sit alone on top of the AL West at 12-4. This was a massive sweep for this team and a huge confidence booster.
The A’s know they’re going to have to hang with the Astros in order to win the division. “If we’re going to go where we want to go, that’s the team you have to go through in your division,” manager Bob Melvin said.
The A’s received great performances from their pitchers. The pitching staff allowed only five runs in the three games. The long ball also played a factor in this series. The A’s belted six homers in the series, while the Astros hit one.
Oakland is hot right now. They’ve won nine straight and are impressing on the mound and at the plate. It is going to be a battle for first place in this division. This series might show us that the A’s could be ready to take the division away from the Astros.
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