Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – George Springer’s RBI single in the 11th
inning proved to be the difference in the Houston Astros’ 5-4 victory over the
Oakland Athletics in the opener of a three-game set.
In the 11th, Chris Carter and Colby Rasmus each worked walks off Eric
O’Flahery (0-2) to start the frame, moved up a base on Hank Conger’s sac bunt
and scored on Robbie Grossman’s grounder through the hole in left for a 4-2
Grossman moved to second on the throw home and Jose Altuve was intentionally
walked. Two batters later, Springer chopped a liner into shallow left for an
Marcus Semien’s two-run blast to left off Pat Neshak made it a 5-4 game. Ike
Davis followed with a pinch-hit single and moved up to second on a wild pitch.
Neshak retired Billy Butler and Ben Zobrist. After Tony Sipp walked Sam Fuld,
Chad Qualls got Brett Lawrie to fly out to deep center for his second save of
The game was scoreless heading into the ninth courtesy of a pitchers’
duel between Houston’s Dallas Keuchel and Oakland’s Scott Kazmir.
Keuchel was brilliant in a no-decision. He tossed nine scoreless innings,
conceding just two hits and two walks with four strikeouts and retiring the
final 19 batters he faced.
Kazmir was also solid, allowing just five hits and three walks with seven
strikeouts over seven frames.
“Went from a starting pitching duel to a little bit of a slugfest later,” A’s
manager Bob Melvin said. “We continued to fight every pitch of the game even
though it looked bleak.”
Springer cracked a two-out double to right and Dan Otero intentionally walked
Jed Lowrie in the 10th. Gonzalez plated both runners when his liner to center
dropped in for a double, scoring the first two runs of the game.
Luke Gregerson (1-0) earned the win despite a tumultuous bottom of the 10th.
He gave up a one-out single to Fuld in the bottom half, but struck out Lawrie.
Stephen Vogt kept the A’s alive after hitting a grounder to second and beating
Altuve’s high throw to first.
Reddick tied the game by hitting a liner to the warning track in center for a
two-run double. He moved to third on the throw home and after Conger was
unable to catch the throw at home, hustled home. Gregerson retrieved the ball
and threw out Reddick to end the frame.
Keuchel has 12 consecutive quality start, dating back to Aug. 15, 2014 …
Altuve finished 2-for-4 with two walks and extended his hitting streak against
Oakland to 27 games … Houston’s 9-7 record matches their best start since
2007 … The A’s are 0-7 in games decided by two runs or fewer.