Jose Altuve worked a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, and the Houston Astros completed a three-game series sweep of the visiting Oakland Athletics with a 9-8 victory on Sunday.
Altuve forced in Aledmys Diaz, who finished 2-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs.
The Astros tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning against right-hander Lou Trivino before recording four walks against Athletics closer Blake Treinen (0-1), who surrendered the tying run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Alex Bregman.
Roberto Osuna (1-0) earned the win for Houston with a perfect top of the ninth.
The Athletics bashed three home runs, with catcher Josh Phegley and first baseman Chad Pinder touching up Astros relievers Josh James and Hector Rondon in the sixth and eighth innings, respectively. Phegley lifted Oakland to a 7-6 lead with his first homer of the season, a two-run blast to left, while Pinder provided some insurance with a solo shot, his second on the season.
Both offenses threw haymakers early.
Houston responded to a two-run Pinder double in the top of the first with a five-run outburst in the bottom of the inning. Athletics right-hander Mike Fiers allowed four consecutive batters to reach and needed a diving catch from right fielder Stephen Piscotty to retire Josh Reddick for the second out. Piscotty preserved a 2-2 tie, but only momentarily.
Ahead 0-2 in the count, Fiers surrendered a three-run, opposite-field blast to Diaz that pushed Houston to a 5-2 lead. It was the first home run for Diaz with the Astros. With two outs in the second, Diaz worked a bases-loaded walk that forced home Altuve and closed the book on Fiers, who allowed six runs on seven hits and four walks while recording only five outs.
But Oakland didn’t relent, getting a two-run home run from Robbie Grossman in the second that sliced the deficit to 5-4. Grossman pulled Oakland within a run again with his RBI double in the fourth, his third hit in as many at-bats against Astros right-hander Brad Peacock.
Houston led 6-5 when Peacock departed after five having allowed five runs on seven hits and one walk.
—Field Level Media