Houston is now 6-7
Astros drop third-straight as Oakland gets walk-off win in extras
Two teams at opposite ends of the momentum spectrum met on Friday night, with the Astros dropping the final two games in Arizona against the Diamondbacks to fall 2.5 games back in the division, and the A's on a six-game winning streak on top of the AL West. The first of three games this weekend went like this:
Final Score (13 innings): A's 3, Astros 2.
Record: 6-7, second in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: J.B. Wendelken (1-0, 0.00 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Cy Sneed (0-2, 7.50 ERA).
Houston scores first
After two scoreless innings on both sides, the Astros would get on the scoreboard first in the top of the third. Martin Maldonado was able to work a one-out walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, then scored on an RBI-double by Kyle Tucker to put Houston ahead 1-0.
Leading the way. #ForTheH pic.twitter.com/fOcPZStVPq
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 8, 2020
Greinke looks dominant
Zack Greinke meanwhile was getting into a rhythm on the mound. He allowed just three hits over the first scoreless inning before facing his first big test in the bottom of the fifth. After a hit-by-pitch with one out, he would allow a single then walk the bases loaded. He would follow that by getting a timely groundball to set up an inning-ending double play.
In the next inning, what likely should have been a leadoff single turned into a triple as Myles Straw would slip while fielding the ball in shallow center field, allowing the ball to go back to the wall. Greinke would work around it, though, and strand the runner by retiring the next three Oakland batters in order. His final line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR.
Runner on 3rd, no outs...
Ain't nothing but a G thing. #ForTheH pic.twitter.com/r6lzrmrKhE
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 8, 2020
A's tie it up as game goes to extras, Oakland comes away with the win
Recently moved back to the bullpen after two short, disappointing starts, Josh James would take over on the mound for Greinke in the bottom of the seventh. He would allow a one-out solo home run to tie the game and take Greinke out of winning position. James would go on to complete the inning before Andre Scrubb would enter for the bottom of the eighth and work around a one-out walk for a scoreless inning to send the 1-1 game to the ninth. After stranding a runner in the top of the ninth, Houston sent Ryan Pressly out to attempt to reverse the outcome of Thursday night where he allowed the walk-off to the Diamondbacks. He would get it done, retiring the A's in order to send the game to extra innings.
Myles Straw was on second to start the top of the tenth and was bunted over to third by Martin Maldonado. Instead of getting a sac fly to bring Straw in, a strikeout would bring Jose Altuve to the plate with two outs, who would groundout on an excellent defensive play by Matt Chapman to keep it tied. In the bottom half of the inning, Enoli Paredes would be next out of Houston's bullpen, and after the A's deployed the same strategy of bunting the runner over, would be retired by two big strikeouts by Paredes to extend the game another frame.
In the top of the eleventh, Altuve would start on second base but was unable to advance as Houston would only manage a walk. Paredes would look to provide one more scoreless inning in the bottom half, and despite facing the bases loaded with two outs, was able to extend the game again. Carlos Correa started the twelfth on second and moved to third on an infield single by Josh Reddick to put runners on the corners with no outs. They would waste the opportunity, with the next three batters unable to score the go-ahead run. Humberto Castellanos would pitch the bottom of the twelfth, and he too would come away with a scoreless inning.
On to the thirteenth inning, they went. Jose Altuve would move the runner to third with a sac fly, then Alex Bregman would finally get a run on the board with an RBI-double to put Houston ahead 2-1. In the bottom half, Cy Sneed would take over on the mound as Oakland hit a sac fly to move their runner to third. Sneed would get a strikeout for the second out but then allowed the tying RBI. Oakland would then get the walk-off hit against Sneed, handing Houston their third-straight loss.
Up Next: The middle game of this series will get started at 3:10 PM on Saturday. After an impressive 6.1 inning appearance out of the bullpen on Sunday against the Angels, Framber Valdez (0-1, 2.53 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros. Oakland will look to Frankie Montas (1-1, 2.25 ERA).