OAKLAND, Calif. (AP/CBS13) — It’s been a rough start to the season for the Oakland A’s.
Yordan Álvarez hit a three-run homer and Houston kept thriving through all the boos, slugging its way to a third straight win in a 9-1 victory over the Athletics on Saturday.READ MORE: California-Grown Cannabis To Be Judged At Next State Fair
Houston has outscored Oakland 26-7 in three games against the defending AL West champion A’s, who were eliminated by the Astros in a four-game AL Divsion Series last fall.
Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0) did his part, too. The Houston right-hander struck out seven and walked three in five innings, allowing two hits and one run.
Kyle Tucker hit an RBI single in the first to stake Houston to a quick lead. The A’s evened it on Mitch Moreland’s sharp single up the middle in the bottom half.
José Altuve hit a go-ahead single in the top of the second to help back McCullers.
McCullers’ pitch count rose fast and he threw 95 pitches after going to 3-0 counts with three of his first four batters faced. Brooks Raley earned a five-out save.
The A’s missed a big chance when Chad Pinder flied out to the warning track with the bases loaded to end the eighth.
Lefty Cole Irvin (0-1) allowed four runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 inning in his A’s debut after pitching the past two seasons for the Phillies.
New A’s shortstop Elvis Andrus came up pumping his right fist in delight after making a nifty diving stop of Martin Maldonado’s sharp grounder in the fourth inning.READ MORE: Man Shot And Killed In Parking Lot Along Florin Road
Dusty Baker hit up a nearby favorite Mexican restaurant in East Oakland a day after burritos were delivered to the clubhouse. This time, the thoughtful Astros manager secured some traditional Mexican stew called pozole for Sunday starter José Urquidy, a native of Mazatlan, Mexico.
“So he’ll be strong tomorrow,” Baker said.
The A’s played Carrie Underwood’s song “Before He Cheats” during the Astros pregame introductions — a play on Houston’s sign-stealing scandal brought to light by Oakland right-hander Mike Fiers in November 2019. This is the Astros’ first visit to the Coliseum with fans in attendance since then.
Astros: LF Michael Brantley was hit by a pitch in the top of the first and left the game shortly after. … 3B Alex Bregman had a planned day off after hitting home runs in each of his first two games with five RBIs.
Athletics: CF Ramón Laureano was out of the lineup a day after suffering a jammed left wrist diving into first. X-rays showed no structural problems. “He’s OK. Typically it’s a little bit sore the next day,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He tends to heal pretty quickly but I’d guess he’ll be down for a couple of days.” … C Sean Murphy, a late scratch Friday because of a bruised right hand, felt better but Melvin won’t push him back too soon at this early stage, saying, “We want these things to completely heal before these guys come back.” … RHP Mike Fiers, on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Monday with a lower back strain, is slated to pitch three innings Monday for the club’s Stockton alternate site group against the Giants’ Sacramento affiliate.
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Urquidy makes his 13th career start and 15th appearance overall when he pitches the series finale. The A’s will counter with lefty Sean Manaea, who went 4-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 11 starts last year.