The Oakland A’s, behind three home runs, defeated the lowly Houston Astros on Saturday night, 6-3.
Bud Norris blanked the A’s early on. He retired the first nine A’s he faced while striking out two. However, the second and third times through Oakland’s lineup weren’t as smooth-sailing.
Coco Crisp, who homered last night, led off the fourth inning with a solo shot to left field. Things really didn’t start rolling until the sixth inning, however.
Oakland again got an inning-opening home run. This time, Jed Lowrie did the honors by blasting a home run to left field. Following Lowrie was an error by shortstop Ronny Cedeno, which cost the Astros big-time. Josh Donaldson singled to left with two outs, scoring Josh Reddick, who earlier reached on the error. Derek Norris also collected an RBI single, as did Eric Sogard.
So, a four-run sixth inning gave the A’s a 5-3 edge. Wright relieved Norris after Donaldson’s RBI single, coming on Norris’s 122nd pitch of the night–a large sum of pitches, especially for his second start of the year. The Novato native pitched 5.2 innings, allowed two earned runs (five runs total) and struck out four.
On the other side, Bartolo Colon pitched well. He started off lights out, retiring the first six batters he faced.
Despite yielding eight hits, he allowed only three runs along with two strikeouts and no walks. The Astros’ three runs came off only one swing by Jason Castro in the fourth.
Colon ran into trouble in the fourth inning when he surrendered four straight hits, but he kept his composure.
Seth Smith capped the A’s scoring with a solo shot to leadoff the eighth inning.
Colon’s first win since August 18, 2012 was saved by Oakland’s bullpen. Sean Doolittle, Ryan Cook and Grant Balfour combined to pitch three perfect innings.
For the A’s, it was simply a matter of clutch hitting. They went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, but they collected three two-out RBI. As a result, they are 4-2 and sitting in first place in the AL West.