It's been established the Astros have problems against lefthanded starting pitching. It's also been established that the Astros are very comfortable against the Oakland bullpen. Both were on display Saturday as Sean Manaea left the contest with a no-hitter intact in the sixth inning but Houston teed off on the Athletics' bullpen to grab an amazing 10-6 comeback victory. It's the second time in this road trip that the Astros have overcome a five-run deficit to win.
Springer: Orange gloves leads other 42s.
(c) Associated Press
Houston starter Lance McCullers was knocked around for five tallies on eight hits, striking out six and walking one. He got the hook in the fifth after Trevor Plouffe and Khris Davis both took him deep for a 5-0 lead. Tony Sipp came in and pitched one of his better efforts in recent memory, allowing a single and a walk but also getting four outs.
Manaea's day took a strange turn in the sixth when he walked the first three batters then Carlos Correa smashed a drive off shortstop Adam Rosales' glove that was overrun by Jaff Decker in left. Two runs scored and Manaea's day was over despite, technically, not allowing a hit.
Nori Aoki singled to start the seventh and eventually scored on a base hit by Alex Bregman. George Springer also scored when Jose Altuve hit into a fielder's choice to push the margin to 5-4.
Houston posted four runs in the eighth to put the game away. The Astros took advantage of two walks, a sacrifice, a wild pitch and an infield single before Springer crushed his sixth homer of the year.
In the ninth, Altuve singled off Frankie Montas then Correa was hit in the hand by a pitch. Correa was replaced at first by Mercury Mike Fiers who eventually scored along with Altuve for insurance. Correa had x-rays taken of his left hand with reports that they were negative.
After Sipp, Jandel Gustave, Will Harris, Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson finished up. Giles allowed a run in the eighth. Harris took the win.
The Sunday finale to the 4-1 road trip will be at 3:05 Central by the East Bay. Charlie Morton (0-1) will get his second road start of the year as he faces Oakland righthander Jharel Cotton (1-1).
Just as an FYI, the Carlos Quintana watch has dimmed somewhat as the White Sox lefthander has begun the season 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA after his loss Saturday to the Twins. The folks, myself included, who insisted the Astros needed to give up valuable prospects just to get this guy in the starting rotation are wiping some egg off our faces about now.
- Bob Hulsey