Astros beat up on Oakland for fifth straight win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 15-0 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After bludgeoning the Mariners to complete the four-game sweep on Sunday afternoon, the Astros turned their attention to another AL-West opponent, the A's, on Monday.

Not only would winning the series keep them atop the overall league standings, but each win would also reduce their "magic number" by two with Oakland sitting second in the AL West, the only team keeping them from already having the division locked up. Here is a quick recap of the first of the four-game series:

Final Score: Astros 15, A's 0.

Record: 95-50, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zack Greinke (15-5, 2.99 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Mike Fiers (14-4, 3.97 ERA).

1) Houston just keeps scoring

If 21 runs on Sunday wasn't enough, Houston picked right up with the scoring on Monday night. Alex Bregman was the one who popped the cork, getting a three-run homer against former-teammate Mike Fiers. Yordan Alvarez made it back-to-back homers on the very next pitch, getting a solo shot, then Chirinos extended the lead to 6-0 with a two-run home run of his own before the first inning was over.

Jose Altuve joined in on the fun in the bottom of the second, getting a two-run shot followed by a solo homer by Michael Brantley for the second set of back-to-back jacks in as many innings. Later in the inning, Yordan Alvarez hit his second home run of the night, and the sixth of the night for Houston, with a mammoth shot to the upper deck in right field. Robinson Chirinos scored another before the inning was over, an RBI-single to make it an 11-0 Astros lead. They went the next few innings scoreless before scoring on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth, making it 12-0.

2) Greinke tosses six scoreless 

Meanwhile, Zack Greinke was quietly putting together a solid start on the mound. He didn't allow a hit until the top of the third, and only one other over his six innings of work.

He issued no walks and struck out five, throwing arguably his best start since joining the Astros. Greinke's final line: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR.

3) Relievers finish it off while the offense keeps scoring

With Greinke done after six scoreless, the Astros turned the ball over to Bryan Abreu in the seventh. In that inning, he was able to work around a two-out double to keep Oakland scoreless. In the bottom of the inning, Houston put two on base on a single and an error, setting up the seventh home run of the night, a three-run shot by Robinson Chirinos to push the lead to 15-0.

Abreu returned in the top of the eighth and despite allowing a leadoff walk was able to record another shutout inning. Cionel Perez had the ninth, and he completed the shutout with a scoreless inning to finish off the win in the series opener.

Up Next: Game two of this four-game series will be Tuesday night with another 7:10 PM start. Oakland is expected to start Tanner Roark (9-8, 3.86 ERA) while Houston will send Wade Miley (13-4, 3.35 ERA) to the mound to try and erase his terrible last start from his memory.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Houston's magic number is down to 1

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 6-4 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After the mini-sweep of the Rangers concluding with win number 100 on the season which secured a playoff spot, the Astros turned their sights to clinching the division. With their magic number at 2, they could clinch on Friday with a win in the series opener against Los Angeles and an Oakland loss. Here is a recap of the first game of the weekend against the Angels:

Final Score: Astros 6, Angels 4.

Record: 101-53, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zack Greinke (17-5, 3.05 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jaime Barria (4-10, 6.43 ERA).

1) Starting with a bang

With a chance to clinch their division and continue to lead the battle for playoff home-field advantage, Houston came out swinging on Friday night. In the first inning, the Astros blasted three home runs with solo shots from Jose Altuve which led off the inning, and Alex Bregman as he tries to catch the sidelined Mike Trout for a possible MVP award.

Later in the inning, Carlos Correa took advantage of a runner on base with a home run of his own, a two-run bomb to extend the lead before Josh Reddick tacked on one more with an RBI-single to make it 5-0 after one.

2) Greinke struggles in the fourth but finishes five innings

Zack Greinke allowed just two hits through the first three innings: a single and a solo home run which at the time cut the lead to 5-1. Carlos Correa pushed the lead back to five runs with his second home run of the night in the bottom of the third.

Greinke would struggle in the top of the fourth, however, allowing five straight hits which would score three runs to cut Houston's lead to 6-4. He would recover and toss a 1-2-3 fifth, but that would be it for him in a five-inning start, as Houston passed the ball to their bullpen to throw the last four frames. His final line: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.

3) Houston's bullpen dominant the rest of the way

Josh James was the first reliever out of Houston's bullpen to take over for Greinke in the top of the sixth and erased a two-out walk to complete a scoreless inning. Ryan Pressly, making his first appearance in a month after having surgery on his knee, returned dominantly with a 1-2-3 inning.

Will Harris did the same in the top of the eighth, holding the two-run lead going to the ninth. Roberto Osuna had the chance for another save in the top of the ninth and converted it to finish off the 6-4 win. That reduced the magic number to one, meaning the Astros are now a win or Oakland loss away from clinching the American League West. They are also just two wins away from matching last year's franchise number of 103.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set with the Angles will be on Saturday at 6:10 PM. Wade Miley (14-5, 3.71 ERA) will get the start for Houston while Patrick Sandoval (0-3, 4.91 ERA) is expected to be on the mound for Los Angeles.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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