Houston stays hot
Astros wallop A's again in home opener
After starting their year with six games on the road, the Astros returned home for their home opener on Thursday night, against the A's, who they had faced for the first four games of the season in Oakland. They hoped to have a similar outcome, with Houston sweeping the series to start 4-0 and dropping one of their AL West rivals to a tough 0-4. Indeed they would, giving the home fans at Minute Maid Park a lot to cheer about in another lopsided win.
Final Score: Astros 6, A's 2
Astros' Record: 6-1, first in the AL West
Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (1-0)
Losing Pitcher: Cole Irvin (0-2)
Javier goes five shutout innings
Doing much better than his first start of the year, Cristian Javier managed to pitch himself into position for the win in his second. He was electric in the first three innings, retiring the first eight batters he faced, five on strikeouts. He went on to allow just three hits, giving his team five scoreless innings. Javier's final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 88 P.
Houston's high-power offense stays hot
Much like their high-scoring games against the A's last weekend, Houston kept plating runs against Oakland in this one. The first two runs came off the bat of Carlos Correa, one on a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the second, the other a one-out RBI-double in the fourth.
They expanded their lead by three runs in the bottom of the sixth, with Yordan Alvarez getting his second homer of the year, a solo shot, then Myles Straw bringing in two more on a two-RBI single. Jose Altuve's first hit of the night was a loud one, a 426-foot solo homer to extend the lead to 6-0.
Astros get the lopsided win
After Javier's five innings, Ryne Stanek would take over and retire four batters in a row to get one out into the seventh. Blake Taylor finished that inning, then Enoli Paredes entered for the top of the eighth. Paredes would walk back-to-back batters before leaving mid-at-bat with an injury.
Joe Smith would make the quick entry, doing well to erase those two walks and keep the A's off the board to complete the top of the eighth. Brooks Raley had the ninth and finished off the win, despite allowing two runs to get Oakland on the board, to improve Houston to 6-1 on the year, sending Oakland to 1-7.
Up Next: The middle game of this series will be another 7:10 PM start on Friday. The Astros will send Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) to the mound for his second start, while Oakland will turn to Sean Manaea (0-1, 9.64 ERA), whom the Astros scored five runs on in the finale in Oakland.