September 10, 2019 / 3:21 AM / a month ago

Astros bash seven homers, hammer A's

EditorsNote: Updated playoff race with Indians update at end of 7th graf

Sep 9, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston battered Oakland pitching for 11 runs on 12 hits — six of them home runs — in the first two innings as the Astros hammered the visiting Athletics 15-0 to set a franchise record for home wins on Monday night.

Robinson Chirinos went 3-for-4, crushed a pair of home runs and drove in a career-high-tying six runs to help the Astros match their club record with seven homers in a game.

Yordan Alvarez belted a pair of solo homers, and Alex Bregman clouted a three-run homer as Houston won for the fifth in a row and for the 17th time in the past 21 games.

Jose Altuve went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and two runs, and Michael Brantley had a solo homer and two runs for Houston, which tallied 17 hits.

Starting pitcher Zack Greinke (15-5) beat the A’s for the second time since being acquired by the Astros at the trade deadline. He tossed six scoreless innings of two-hit ball to improve to 5-1 with a 3.32 ERA since joining Houston.

The Astros moved to 56-17 at home, breaking the team record for home wins set in 1980 and 1998.

Oakland mustered just three hits and fell to 1 1/2 games behind idle Tampa Bay in the race for the first American League wild card. The A’s are clinging to a half-game lead over the Cleveland Indians, who defeated the Los Angeles Angels 6-2 on Monday night.

Houston scored 21 runs in a home win over Seattle on Sunday, then picked up in the first inning right where it left off, putting together six hits — five consecutive — and six runs against A’s starter Mike Fiers (14-4).

Unbeaten in 21 consecutive starts, Fiers allowed deep shots to Bregman (his 35th), Alvarez (23rd) on the next pitch and Chirinos (16th) as the Astros built a 6-0 lead.

Alvarez’s first blast broke Carlos Correa’s 2015 record for most homers by a Houston rookie.

Altuve slugged a two-run shot, his 26th, in the second for an 8-0 lead, and Brantley lashed his career-high 21st in the next at-bat to chase Fiers from the game after just one-plus inning.

The start was the shortest of Fiers’ career, and the five home runs were the most he has allowed in a start.

Alvarez hit a mammoth blast off reliever Paul Blackburn later in the second, driving his 24th into the upper deck down the right field line for a 10-0 lead, and Chirinos added an RBI single.

Slideshow (26 Images)

Garrett Stubbs scored on a wild pitch in the sixth, and Chirinos clubbed a three-run long ball, his 17th, in the seventh.

Bryan Abreu pitched two innings of one-hit ball, striking out three, and Cionel Perez fanned two batters in a perfect ninth to complete the shutout.

—Field Level Media

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