Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
After the two teams went thirteen innings on Friday night with the A's ultimately winning, Houston looked to end their four-game skid with a win on Saturday afternoon. Here is a quick rundown of the game:
Final Score: A's 8, Astros 4.
Record: 78-46, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Chris Bassitt (9-5, 3.61 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Rogelio Armenteros (1-1, 4.00 ERA).
1) Astros strike first
While it looked like Houston was going to jump out to an immediate lead in the top of the first after loading the bases, they instead stranded all three runners. However, they would still get on the board first by getting back-to-back singles to lead off the third before an RBI-double by Alex Bregman and sacrifice fly by Yordan Alvarez put them ahead 2-0.
After going down 5-2 in the bottom of the third, Houston would get their next run on a solo home run crushed by Yordan Alvarez in the top of the fifth. That got them within two runs at 5-3 at the time.
2) A poor third inning ruins the afternoon for Armenteros
Rogelio Armenteros looked to be pitching well through the first two innings, allowing just one hit across the first two frames. However, he struggled to get the first out in the bottom of the third, loading the bases on three straight singles before Oakland would put up five runs and take a 5-2 lead.
Armenteros finished that horrible inning, as well as a quick fourth, but with his pitch count rising was not asked to go any further. His final line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR.
3) Alvarez crushes another, but Oakland secures series win
Chris Devenski was the first out of Houston's depleted bullpen, taking over for Armenteros to pitch the bottom of the fifth. He would post another poor appearance, allowing three runs to extend Oakland's lead to 8-3. Collin McHugh was next on the mound in the bottom of the sixth and although he also allowed Oakland to load the bases, was able to leave all runners stranded.
McHugh stayed in the game in the bottom of the seventh and was able to workout around a leadoff double to post a second scoreless inning. In the top of the eighth, Yordan Alvarez drilled his second home run of the day, making it an 8-4 game.
Can't spell Yordan without ROY. #TakeItBack pic.twitter.com/GUG3gdxHz1
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 17, 2019
Joe Smith was the fourth pitcher of the game for Houston, throwing a scoreless bottom of the eighth inning. The Astros would come up empty in the top of the ninth, extending their losing streak to five games while Oakland secured the series win.
Up Next: Houston will conclude this series with the A's and also this road trip with one last game in Oakland on Sunday at 3:07 PM. The Astros will get their third start from Zack Greinke (12-4, 2.91 ERA) as they look to avoid the four-game sweep, while Oakland is expected to counter with Brett Anderson (10-8, 3.95 ERA).
The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.
Houston Astros skipper Joe Espada wasted no time this week at spring training by answering one of the most talked about questions of the offseason.
Espada revealed that newly-acquired free agent Josh Hader will be the team's closer and will pitch the ninth inning, with Ryan Pressly working as the setup man.
Bryan Abreu will be tapped to pitch the seventh inning, but it wouldn't shock anyone if he had the best season of the three. But after Abreu, things get interesting in the bullpen.
Who pitches the sixth inning?
Astros GM Dana Brown gave Rafael Montero a vote of confidence, saying he's “legit.”
While we have our concerns about Montero after he finished with an ERA over five last year, there's reason for hope. The nature of relief pitchers halving up and down seasons from year to year could work in Montero's favor.
And with the salary that's already committed to him, Brown will likely give him every opportunity to justify his contract. It will be fascinating to see how Espada deploys him early on. You have to think with the boss man backing Montero, Espada will be on board too.
But if he does struggle, will Espada quickly stop using him in critical situations? The good news is, the team won't often have to turn to him in high leverage situations with Abreu, Pressly, and Hader ready to handle those duties.
Be sure to watch the video above for the full discussion about the Astros 'pen, and much more!
Don't miss Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every week on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel!