Astros beat up on Oakland for fifth straight win
Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 15-0 win
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.
WHERE did this ball land!? pic.twitter.com/H8bejMym4i
— MLB (@MLB) September 10, 2019
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.