Houston moves to 4-0

Astros stay perfect, complete sweep of A's

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Having outscored the A's heavily through the first three games to jump out to a 3-0 record and lead in this series, the Astros entered Sunday's game looking to complete the four-game sweep. They would do just that and in the same fashion as the prior three.

Jose Urquidy had a decent start, allowing just two runs, but it was once again Houston's offense that sealed the victory to improve them to 4-0 and take an early stranglehold on the AL West.

Final Score: Astros 9, A's 2

Astros' Record: 4-0, 1st in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Brandon Bielak (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Sean Manaea (0-1)

Houston jumps ahead early, again

Houston wasted no time trying to set the tone of the game on Sunday, with Kyle Tucker providing an early spark via a solo home run to jump out to a quick 1-0 advantage in the top of the first. Oakland would respond in their half of the inning, tying the game with an RBI-double during a lengthy sequence for Jose Urquidy.

In his first game back with his former team, Jason Castro made his presence known in the top of the second, putting the Astros back ahead with a two-run opposite-field homer to make it 3-1. Yuli Gurriel added two more in the next frame, getting a two-out two-RBI double to extend the lead to 5-1.

Blowing it open late

After the lengthy first, Jose Urquidy would settle in and breeze through the next few innings, not allowing another hit until a one-out triple in the fifth which would end his day after surpassing 100 pitches. His final line: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 101 P.

Brandon Bielak would take over for Urquidy, allowing an RBI-groundout to bring in the runner on third and cut the lead to 5-2 before finishing the fifth. Houston would get that run back in the top of the sixth, getting back-to-back singles to start the inning with runners on the corners before Myles Straw would get the RBI-groundout to make it 6-2. A rare error by Matt Chapman would keep the inning alive and two runners on base, setting up Chas McCormick for his first major-league home run, bringing in three more to make it 9-2.

Astros complete the four-game sweep

Bielak remained on the mound, completing an impressive outing by taking the game the rest of the way, retiring every batter he faced, all 14, en route to the win. Houston completed the four-game sweep in dominating fashion, sending the A's to 0-4, with the Dodgers coming to Oakland next.

Up Next: The Astros will remain in California, heading to Anaheim to face the Angels for a short two-game series on Monday and Tuesday. The opener will get underway at 8:38 PM Central Monday evening, with Luis Garcia (0-1, 2.92 ERA in 2020) getting a shot as Houston's fifth starter, for now. Jose Quintana will make his first regular-season start for Los Angeles after spending the last four years with the Chicago Cubs.

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Houston loses in San Francisco

Astros drop back-and-forth middle game to Giants to even series

Houston's offense couldn't keep up with the Giants on Saturday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With the impressive win in the opener to start the series, the Astros entered Saturday's middle game against the Giants with an opportunity to not just secure the series but surpass San Francisco for the best record in the league. They'd have to wait to take that crown, as the Giants would out-slug the Astros to even the series.

Final Score: Giants 8, Astros 6

Astros' Record: 64-41, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jay Jackson (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Blake Taylor (2-3)

Teams trade blows early, Giants chase Greinke out early

The teams traded blows early in this one, with the Giants tagging Zack Greinke with six runs, all on homers. The first was a solo shot in the bottom of the second to start the scoring before hitting one in each inning through the fourth: two-run blasts in the third and fourth, then a go-ahead solo shot in the bottom of the fifth, putting them ahead 6-5 at the time. Greinke would face one more batter, allowing a single to end his lackluster day: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 4 HR, 93 P.

Houston's offense kept things close to try and keep Greinke in a position to win, going up 3-1 in the third on a two-run Aledmys Diaz homer and another coming in on an error. After San Francisco scored four unanswered to make it 5-3, Diaz homered again in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to one run before Yuli Gurriel would tie it with an RBI double.

Astros stay in it, but Giants even the series by winning the slug-fest

With Greinke exiting with no outs in the fifth, Houston handed the ball to Phil Maton, acquired in the recent Myles Straw trade, to make his debut for his new team. He worked himself into a jam, allowing a single and hitting a batter to load the bases with one out, but was able to get back-to-back strikeouts to strike out the side and strand all three runners, keeping it a one-run game.

That proved pivotal in the top of the sixth, as with two outs, Martin Maldonado would launch a game-tying solo homer, making it 6-6. Blake Taylor took over out of the bullpen in the bottom of the inning but would face just three batters, getting two outs while leaving one on as Dusty Baker moved on to Cristian Javier. Javier would watch the Giants retake the lead, getting back-to-back singles to bring in a run and make it 7-6.

Javier stayed in the game in the bottom of the seventh, allowing a leadoff single but erasing it by striking out the next three batters. Still a 7-6 game in the bottom of the eighth, Yimi Garcia made his Astros debut but did not keep the score there, allowing a leadoff solo homer to make it a two-run game. The 8-6 score would go final as Houston's offense came up empty again in the top of the ninth, setting up a rubber game in the finale.

Up Next: The series finale will get underway at 3:05 PM Central on Sunday in San Francisco. Luis Garcia (7-5, 3.19 ERA) will take the mound for Houston, going opposite Logan Webb (4-3, 3.36 ERA) for the Giants.

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