EditorsNote: moves down first graf about Keuchel; rewords third graf
George Springer lashed a career-high six hits, including a three-run home run, and Marwin Gonzalez capped a six-run fourth inning with a two-run homer Monday night, helping the visiting Houston Astros pull away from the Oakland Athletics early en route to an 16-2 victory in the opener of a three-game series.
Springer finished 6-for-6 to become the first Astro ever to collect six hits in a nine-inning game. The only other time a Houston player produced a six-hit game was when Joe Morgan went 6-for-6 in a 12-inning game against the Milwaukee Braves on July 8, 1965.
The center fielder paced a 20-hit offense with a performance that included his eighth home run of the season, his ninth double and four singles. He scored four runs and drove in three.
The six-hit game was the second in the majors this season. Andrew McCutchen had six hits, including a walk-off, three-run home run, against the Los Angeles Dodgers last month.
Dallas Keuchel (2-5) got a measure of revenge against the team that bombed him in an April start. He threw eight strong innings, taking advantage of more run support than he had enjoyed total in his five losses this season.
The Astros gave Keuchel a two-run lead before he took the mound, with Gonzalez getting his big night started with a two-out, two-RBI single. A double by Springer and two walks by A’s starter Brett Anderson (0-1) had loaded the bases.
In the second inning, Springer followed a single by Josh Reddick and double by Max Stassi with his three-run home run for a 5-0 advantage.
Houston ended Anderson’s night with three consecutive hits to open the fourth, with a double by Stassi, his second of the game, and a single by Jose Altuve producing runs.
After an error and a double play made it 9-0, Gonzalez hit his homer, his third of the season, against A’s reliever Chris Hatcher, completing the six-run uprising and increasing the lead to 11-0.
Keuchel had received a total of four runs of offensive support in his five earlier losses. He was beaten 8-1 by the A’s last month, allowing six runs in seven innings.
The left-hander lost his shutout bid in the sixth when a double by Chad Pinder and two infield outs put the A’s on the board.
Keuchel was pulled after eight innings, having allowed just the one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Seeking to extend Oakland’s winning streak to four games, Anderson lasted just three-plus innings, allowing 10 hits and nine runs (seven earned). He walked three and did not strike out a batter.
Derek Fisher had a solo home run, his third of the year, and Gonzalez, who had three hits in the game, capped a career-best-tying, five-RBI game with an infield out in a two-run eighth.
Gonzalez’s previous five-RBI game occurred last season against Texas, a game in which he hit two home runs.
The Astros capped their scoring in the ninth on an RBI single by Yuli Gurriel and a two-run single by Alex Bregman.
The 16-run explosion was five more runs than in any previous game this season for the Astros, who had lost five of their previous six.
Pinder and Jonathan Lucroy each had two of Oakland’s eight hits.
Mark Canha and Lucroy had back-to-back doubles to produce Oakland’s final run in the last of the ninth.
—Field Level Media