The A’s welcomed the Astros into the AL West with an 8-3 rout in Houston on Friday night.
Most of the action occurred in the fifth inning, starting with a Coco Crisp double that knocked Houston starter Brad Peacock out of the game. Peacock had pitched a fine game up to that point, allowing a single run in the first inning on a Crisp homer.
Xavier Cedeno entered for the Astros, and immediately walked two batters to load the bases for Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes hit a harder grounder right to shortstop Marwin Gonzalez, but it skipped by him and into the outfield, scoring two runs. Had Gonzalez handled it cleanly, it would have been an inning-ending double play.
Instead, the A’s piled on. Catcher John Jaso knocked in another run with a safety squeeze bunt, and Josh Donaldson’s single plated a pair. The A’s batted around that inning, as Crisp wrapped up the scoring with a double down the right field line that scored two more.
When it was all said and done, Oakland led 8-0 and were in firm control of the game.
The A’s pitching was the polar opposite of the Astros. Flamethrower Dan Straily went six and 2/3 innings, striking out 11 batters and allowing two runs, in his final start before likely being sent down to the minors in favor of Bartolo Colon.
Oakland will play the Astros twice more over the weekend, and based on what we’ve seen in this game, they should have no problem getting a sweep.