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Athletics Split Quick Two-Game Series Against Houston

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics returned home following a 4-5 nine-game road trip to host the hot Houston Astros in a two-game set.

These two teams met a week and a half ago in Houston when the Astros swept Oakland in their three-game series. In that week and a half between series, Houston hadn’t lost a single game. They entered this series on a nine-game winning streak where they outscored their opponents 52-31.

Oakland had one roster move prior to the second game of the series placing Marco Estrada on the 10-day IL with a lumbar strain and recalled Chris Bassitt from Triple-A Las Vegas. Bassitt started 11 games last season for the A’s, allowing 16 earned runs in 47.2 innings.

Game 1: Astros 9, Athletics 1

WP: Collin McHugh (3-1, 1.96 ERA) LP: Estrada (0-2, 6.85)

It took no time at all for the Astros to jump on the A’s as George Springer took the sixth pitch of the game from Estrada deep to give Houston a 1-0 lead. Former Athletic Josh Reddick followed suit with a two-run home run of his own in the second inning to push the lead to three.

Estrada continued to struggle in the fourth walking Yuli Gurriel, allowing a single to Reddick, and then loading the bases by hitting Robinson Chirinos with a pitch. Estrada would then walk Springer to make it 4-0 and end his night.

The night wouldn’t end in the box score however for Estrada as Liam Hendriks would allow a grand slam to Alex Bregman to push the score to 8-0. Estrada’s line score would end at 3.1 innings pitched allowing seven earned with walking three and striking out one. Chirinos would later add a sacrifice fly to end Houston’s scoring at nine.

The A’s lone run of the night would come from a sacrifice fly from Kendrys Morales, scoring Marcus Semien.

The win extended Houston’s win streak to ten.

Game 2: Athletics 2, Astros 1

WP: Frankie Montas (3-1, 2.70) LP: Wade Miley (1-2, 3.32) SV: Blake Treinen (6, 0.79)

Wednesday night was a different story for the A’s as Montas allowed just one earned run on three hits in 6.1 innings.

Montas had a no-hitter in the fifth inning but that was broken up by a Gurriel single but nothing came of it. The only trouble Montas came into all night was in the top of the sixth when he walked Springer and an error advanced him to second. Bregman would draw a two-out walk and Michael Brantley drove in Springer with an RBI single. That would be the only blemish on Montas’ line score for the night.

The A’s struck quickly Wednesday night. Mark Canha hit a one-out double in the second inning and was driven in with a Jurickson Profar double to give the Athletics the early 1-0 lead.

Profar’s double would be the only run for Oakland until the sixth inning. With a 1-1 count, Matt Chapman drove a McHugh off-speed pitch over the out-of-town scoreboard in left-center for his sixth home run of the season to give Oakland a 2-1 lead that would hold.

While the Chapman home run proved to be the winning run, it didn’t come without drama in the ninth inning. Treinen walked Brantley to lead the inning off. Gurriel would then single with one out to move the tying run into scoring position. After a mound visit, Treinen would get Reddick to pop out and then strike out Chirinos to put an end to the Astros’ 10-game winning streak.

With the win on Wednesday, Oakland moves to 11-10 on the season. The Athletics have Thursday off before hosting the 7-12 Toronto Blue Jays for a three-game series in Oakland.