Mandatory Credit: Photo by David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock (13398313z) Houston Astros’ Yordan Alvarez watches his home run against the Oakland Athletics during the eighth inning of a baseball game, in Houston Athletics Astros Baseball, Houston, United States – 17 Sep 2022
The Athletics knew the Astros were in the playoffs already after last night’s victory and they took their frustration out on the Astros Saturday by belting several home runs and putting some serious pressure on the pitching staff in an 8-5 win over the Astros.
The Astros may have already clinched a playoff spot but they still had some work to do to against the Athletics on Saturday night to help their chances of winning their division and having the best record in the American League. Jose Urquidy was on the mound for the Astros but struggled in the early going by letting the A’s get on the board in the first inning with a Sean Murphy RBI single who drove in Tony Kemp to make it 1-0 Athletics.
But the Astros struck back in the bottom of the inning in a big way with home runs by Aledmys Diaz, who hit his 12th solo shot of the year to tie the game at 1, then Kyle Tucker hit his 28th home run of the year to center field, driving in Alex Bregman who had singled to make it 3-1 Astros and then Trey Mancini blew the door wide open with his 18th home run of the year to make 4-1 Astros.
Oakland would not let the Astros’ big inning faze them as Kemp tripled to start the third inning and then later scored thanks to Vimael Machin sacrifice fly to cut the Astros lead 4-2. Urquidy was able to keep the damage to a minimum though, forcing a groundout to end the third. The Astros tried to add on to their lead in the bottom of the third, but could not do anything offensively.
Oakland proved they were not going to down without a fight tonight as Chad Pinder hit his 12th home run of the year off of Urquidy to cut the lead 4-3 Astros in the bottom of the 4th. The A’s added on to their lead in the 5th with a two run home run by Sean Brown, scoring Nick Allen, increasing their lead to 6-4in the top of the 5th.
Brown continued his hot streak tonight as he continued to figure out Astros pitching by doubling off a Hector Neris to increase the A’s lead to 7-4 in the 7th.
Just when it seemed all hope was lost for the Astros offensively in the later innings, Yordan Alvarez blasted his 37th home run to chip away at the Athletics, 7-5, then Bregman doubled to put some much-needed pressure on the A’s. But nothing else happened for the Astros offensively for the rest of the night.
The Athletics added another run via Vimael Manchin to make it 8-5 A’s and that was she wrote for tonight’s game as the Astros could not mount a comeback in the 9th.
The Astros Magic number still remains at 4 to clinch the American League West
Framber Valdez (15-5, 2.55 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros and Ken Waldichuk (0-1, 5.4 ERA ) will be on the mound for the Athletics tomorrow at 1:10 CT.