Houston snaps losing streak
Astros split doubleheader with A's to end six-game skid
Currently suffering a five-game losing streak, the Astros needed a strong showing on Tuesday with a doubleheader against the division-leading A's to try and right their ship. One positive to start the day was that they had Alex Bregman back in the lineup. Here is how the two games unfolded:
Final Score (7 innings): A's 4, Astros 2.
Record: 21-21, second in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Frankie Montas (3-3, 5.73 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Zack Greinke (3-1, 3.27 ERA).
Greinke give up four runs in his first loss of 2020
Zack Greinke looked sharp in the first two innings of the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader, retiring the first six batters he faced. His night would turn in the top of the third when Khris Davis would launch a solo home run to start the inning before an RBI-single later in the same frame made it a 2-0 Oakland lead.
Greinke had a clean fourth and worked around a leadoff double in the fifth, but would allow two more runs in the top of the sixth, giving him four earned runs, the most he's allowed in a start this season. That would earn him his first loss of 2020. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 92 P.
Brantley's home run not enough
While the Astros would get hits in six of the seven innings of the game, they would be far enough between to keep them from putting anything together. Their lone offensive highlight was a game-tying two-run home run by Michael Brantley in the bottom of the fifth, scoring George Springer, who reached on a single earlier in the inning.
The A's would get those two runs back in the very next inning, and Houston would be unable to do any more damage, handing Oakland another win and another game in the division. The loss extended the losing streak to 6 games and moved them to .500 on the year and 5.5 games back in the division.
Final Score (7 innings): Astros 5, A's 4.
Record: 22-21, second in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Enoli Paredes (2-2, 3.45 ERA).
Losing pitcher: J.B. Wendelken (1-1, 1.45 ERA).
Teams trade four-run innings
Houston turned to Chase De Jong to start their bullpen day in game two of the doubleheader. After two impressive innings, the A's would figure him out in the third, scoring four runs on four hits, including a sacrifice fly and three-run home run by Matt Olson, grabbing an early 4-0 lead.
Luckily for Houston, the A's would hand them a gift in the top of the fourth. After back-to-back singles to start the inning, Kyle Tucker worked a walk to load the bases. Carlos Correa would earn an RBI the hard way after being hit by a pitch to bring in the first run, then Oakland would walk in two more before a game-tying infield single by George Springer to make it a 4-4 game.
Houston wins game two to end their six-game skid
Brad Peacock entered the game in the bottom of the fourth and would face three batters, getting two outs while allowing a ground-rule double before Brooks Raley would come in to finish the inning with the third out. Raley would return for a 1-2-3 fifth before retiring one more batter to start the bottom of the sixth. Enoli Paredes was next out of Houston's bullpen, and despite loading the bases, he would get out of the jam to keep it knotted up 4-4.
Houston would grab their first lead of the night in the top of the seventh. They loaded the bases with no outs after an error, walk, and single, setting up an RBI-sac fly by Yuli Gurriel to make it 5-4. Oakland would limit the damage there, though, sending the one-run game to the bottom of the seventh. That meant a save opportunity for Ryan Pressly. He would convert it, retiring Oakland 1-2-3, ending Houston's six-game skid and splitting the doubleheader to move back up one game in the division standings.
Up Next: This five-game series rolls on Wednesday with game four at 8:10 PM Central. Luis Garcia (0-0, 2.08 ERA), who impressed in his major-league debut last week, will get the nod as Houston's starter while Oakland will send Jesus Luzardo (2-2, 4.23 ERA) to the mound.