EditorsNote: Removes stray capital in Fiers (11th graf); other minor changes
Matt Chapman capped a home run derby with his second of the game leading off the eighth inning Thursday night, sending the host Oakland Athletics to a 7-6 victory over the Houston Astros in the opener of a four-game series featuring the top two teams in the American League West.
Matt Olson also had a two-homer game, and Corban Joseph added a fifth for the A’s, who moved within 8 1/2 games of the first-place Astros with just the third win in their 12 head-to-head games this season.
The Astros matched the A’s in homers with five, with Carlos Correa and Michael Brantley belting a pair apiece, while Alex Bregman had one.
After Brantley’s second homer of the night tied the game at 6-6 in the top of the eighth, Chapman hit the third pitch thrown by Chris Devenski (2-2) over the wall in left field for the go-ahead blow.
Closer Liam Hendricks pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 16th save, preserving the win for Jake Diekman (1-6), who had retired the only man he faced to end the top of the eighth.
The homers were Nos. 28 and 29 for Chapman, Nos. 24 and 25 for Olson, Nos. 17 and 18 for Brantley and Nos. 18 and 19 for Correa. Joseph’s homer was his first since getting promoted by the A’s this week, while Bregman’s shot was his 29th.
Bregman and Olson had the only multi-run homers of the game, with Bregman connecting with a two-run shot in the fourth to open the scoring, before Olson countered with a three-run shot in the bottom of the inning, putting Oakland on top.
The A’s twice led by two runs, only to have the Astros overcome each with solo homers.
Neither starter got a decision.
Oakland’s Mike Fiers, who successfully extended his run of unbeaten starts to 18 straight, left with a 6-5 lead after serving up Correa’s second homer leading off the seventh. He was charged with five runs on six hits in six-plus innings, with one walk and three strikeouts.
Houston’s Aaron Sanchez, meanwhile, remained unbeaten in three starts since joining the Astros. He went 5 1/3 innings, allowing six runs and seven hits. He walked two and struck out three.
The game featured 15 hits, only five of which weren’t homers.
Chapman finished with three hits, and Olson had four RBIs for the A’s, who won their second straight.
Brantley had three hits and scored three times for the Astros, who fell to 3-4 on a 10-game trip.
—Field Level Media