We all remember just how dominant the Oakland Athletics were in the early going against the Houston Astros, they literally couldn’t lose. No matter how ugly things might have looked, they always found a way to pull out the win. Things have changed. After the Astros finally broke through in breaking Grant Balfour‘s consecutive saves streak, they have also taken a series in Oakland, and have now started off this four game set with a victory.
Sonny Gray wobbled in the opening frame, he simply wasn’t missing bats and the Astros were able to put a run on the board thanks to an RBI single from former Athletic Chris Carter. Gray would be able to limit the damage to that one run in the inning by striking out Marc Krauss. The Astros though would add on two more runs in the second inning. Quite frankly, it was ugly. L.J. Hoes singled, and Matt Pagnozzi reached on an infield single when Jed Lowrie and Eric Sogard had a bit of a miscommunication up the middle, leaving Lowrie who fielded the ball with no play. Jose Altuve singled sharply to left field, and as Yoenis Cespedes geared up to field the ball and fire towards home plate, he booted the ball all the way to the A’s bullpen. Both of the runs would score as Cespedes chased down the ball.
Gray would right himself as the game progressed, but it would be too late as another former Athletic Brad Peacock shut down the recently potent offense. Peacock tossed seven shutout innings against the A’s, and came out to work the eighth and allowed a triple by Eric Sogard, and an RBI double by Stephen Vogt before departing. Vogt would score on a swinging bunt by Alberto Callaspo, that run would also be charged to Peacock.
Sonny Gray would pitch eight innings, and wouldn’t allow another run to score after the second inning. All told he allowed three runs, two earned on seven hits with seven strikeouts, he walked one. The hard luck loss was his third of the season. Ryan Cook worked a scoreless top of the ninth.
With the loss, the A’s fall 1/2 game behind the idle Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West. They maintain their 2 1/2 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the wild card race, and have a 5 game cushion over the New York Yankees. The A’s will look to get back on track tomorrow as A.J. Griffin (12-9, 3.84 ERA) takes on Dallas Keuchel (5-8, 4.77 ERA).