Houston continues to fall in the standings
Losing streak extended to five games as Astros drop opener to A's
Finally able to get out of Los Angeles for a change of scenery after the four-game sweep by the Angels, the Astros were in Oakland Monday night for a five-game set against the division-leading A's. Here is a quick rundown of the series opener:
Final Score: A's 6, Astros 0.
Record: 21-20, second in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Chris Bassitt (3-2, 3.12 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.38 ERA).
Javier goes five innings
Cristian Javier had a mostly decent outing on Monday, keeping it a close game while he was on the mound. He would last five frames, reaching 94 pitches along the way to reach a season-high. Although the A's would force him into extended at-bats, he only allowed two runs.
Those came in the bottom of the second when a lead-off single set up an RBI-double by former-Astro Tony Kemp to give Oakland the 1-0 lead. After Houston erased Kemp as he tried to steal third, Sean Murphy followed that with a solo home run to double the lead to 2-0. Javier would keep the score there, going three more scoreless innings. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 94 P.
Bullpen struggles continue as A's take the opener
After Javier, Cionel Perez would take over out of the bullpen in the bottom of the sixth. He would face three batters, getting two outs and allowing a single, before the Astros moved on to Andre Scrubb. Scrubb finished the sixth, then retired for the seventh. He completed that inning, but not before allowing a leadoff walk that would eventually score after moving to third on a one-out single and sacrifice fly, making it a 3-0 Oakland lead.
Cy Sneed was next out of the bullpen for the Astros, and he too would be bitten by a leadoff walk, as that runner would score on a one-out RBI-single to extend the lead to 4-0 before Oakland blew it open with a two-RBI single later in the inning to make it 6-0. That would be the final score as the A's would shutout the Astros to take the first game of the five-game set.
Up Next: This series continues on Tuesday with a doubleheader starting at 5:10 PM Central. The first game should feature Zack Greinke (3-0, 2.91 ERA) on the mound for the Astros opposite Frankie Montas (2-3, 6.06 ERA) for the A's. The second game, which will start about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first, will have Mike Minor (0-5, 5.94 ERA) starting for Oakland while Houston is expected to have a bullpen-led game with the starter TBD.