EditorsNote: Fixes info on Gurriel hit in 8th graf
Chad Pinder crushed a three-run home run, and Khris Davis produced a pair of extra-base hits as the visiting Oakland Athletics slugged their way to an 8-3 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park.
By winning two of the first three in a four-game series that ends Thursday, the Athletics extended their streak of unbeaten series to eight. It’s their longest such streak since a run of nine unbeaten series from May 17-June 13, 2013.
Oakland did so by recording four extra-base hits and taking advantage of Astros right-hander Lance McCullers’ abject command woes.
McCullers had allowed a total of six earned runs over his previous four starts. However, the Athletics tagged him for six runs in four-plus innings, with McCullers (10-4) issuing five walks, hitting two batters and uncorking two wild pitches to augment the damage.
Davis’ two-run double in the first inning highlighted the Athletics’ three-run opening frame. Just when it appeared that McCullers had settled down, Pinder doubled the lead to 6-0 with his 401-foot blast to left field three batters into the fourth. McCullers plunked third baseman Matt Chapman with a pitch and walked first baseman Mark Canha before Pinder hit his ninth homer.
Houston cut the deficit in half with a two-run Yuli Gurriel single in the fourth inning and a one-out solo homer from Tyler White in the fifth. Davis stemmed that tide with a triple to straightaway center in the sixth that scored Marcus Semien, who doubled off right-hander Brad Peacock with one out.
Semien went 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs. Davis finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs, and Pinder and Jed Lowrie each had two hits and two walks.
Athletics right-hander Chris Bassitt (2-3) benefitted from the early offense and retired the first eight batters he faced. The Astros did not record a hit until Alex Bregman opened the fourth with a bloop single. Jose Altuve then singled and stole second, and Gurriel singled to plate both runners.
Bassitt worked five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and one walk. Oakland has homered in each of the six games on its road trip and has a league-leading 82 home runs on the road.
Athletics right fielder Stephen Piscotty departed in the fifth inning after being hit on the left wrist by a McCullers pitch. He was diagnosed with a left wrist contusion. Piscotty finished 1-for-2.
—Field Level Media