Swing For The Fences: A’s Use The Long Ball To Sweep Houston


Apr 7, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Chris Young (25) is congratulated by Brandon Moss (37) and Jed Lowrie (8) after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The slow start on offense in the first two games of the season is now a distant memory for an Oakland Athletics team that has hit 11 home runs over a five-game winning streak, including three today in a 9-3 win over the Houston Astros.

Brett Anderson earned the win for Oakland, going six innings and striking out 10, tying his career-high.  The only real trouble Anderson ran into was in the sixth, when he gave up consecutive singles and walked Chris Carter to load the bases with no outs.  He very nearly got out of the inning after striking out the next two batters, but Jed Lowrie overthrew first base on a routine ground ball from Matt Dominguez to allow the only runs of the game for Houston. Luckily for the A’s, Chris Carter was thrown out on the relay throw to third to limit any further damage and end the inning.  Carter would score from third on an RBI groundout by Carlos Corporan in the eighth to account for the final Houston run off of Oakland reliever Jerry Blevins.

Oakland continued their offensive barrage against the Astros, and this is the hottest start the organization has enjoyed at the plate in, well, ever.  Seth Smith got the A’s on board in the second, bringing home Brandon Moss and Chris Young on a double after they were walked in consecutive at-bats.  Jed Lowrie would add two more in the third on a home run that fell just inside the foul pole along the left field line, scoring Coco Crisp, who walked to lead off the inning.  Crisp added his own homer the next inning when he crushed a solo shot to left to make it 5-0 in Oakland’s favor.  Lowrie and Crisp both have three home runs on the year, and Lowrie’s average is up to an impressive .500 after going 3-for-5 on the day.

Houston native Chris Young would make it 8-0 on a three-run homer in the fifth, a bomb to left field that delighted his friends and family in the stands. That ended a rough day for Astros starter Lucas Harrell.  The A’s scored one more in the top of the ninth on a grounder by Brandon Moss to right field that scored John Jaso from second to account for the final Oakland run on the day.

It wasn’t all good news for the A’s, however.  Josh Reddick left the game in the fifth inning after spraining his right wrist when he tried to make a sliding catch in foul territory and ran into the field barrier.  He’s unlikely to play Tuesday, but it shouldn’t be serious enough to relegate him to the DL.  Yoenis Cespedes was brought in to play left field and Seth Smith replaced Reddick in right following the play.

The A’s have 12 home runs and 16 doubles on the year, and they’ve scored 29 runs over the last five games.  It’ll be interesting to see if they can keep up the impressive performances at the plate as they’ll face stiffer competition against the Los Angeles Angels and Detroit Tigers in the next two series.  Oakland is off Monday, and they’ll return to action against the Angels on Tuesday at 7:05 PST.