Young’s Heroics Enable A’s to Stay Undefeated Against Astros


May 24, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Chris Young (25) hits a home run during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

When the Oakland A’s and Houston Astros got going in the first inning, it looked like another miserable game for the Astros. And it was; in a different way.

With his A’s trailing 5-3, Chris Young blasted a monster three-run home run off of Astros’ closer Jose Veras. The towering shot gave the A’s the lead, and that led to a huge win for the green and gold. Tommy Milone surrendered five runs in the fifth inning, with J.D. Martinez capping off the damage with a three-run home run off of Milone.

Erik Bedard gave up six runs and recorded one out in his last start against the A’s, and he started off on the same track. Yoenis Cespedes hit a ground ball up the middle for a base hit, scoring a run. Luke Montz brought in a run on a fielders’ choice, which gave the A’s a 2-0 lead. Milone went seven innings, but he gave up five runs. Luckily for the A’s, they came back.

Seth Smith took a fastball and hit it the other way for a home run in the sixth, which cut the lead to 5-3. The A’s couldn’t fight back until the ninth, when Young took a hanging slider from Veras and destroyed the ball. The ball left the park, and the A’s took the lead. Here’s a video of the home run.

While the A’s had the lead and the momentum, they fell into a hole in the ninth. Closer Grant Balfour let two runners get on base with one out, and he had to face Robbie Grossman with one out. Balfour left two pitches over the plate, including an 0-2 pitch. However, Grossman was reluctant to swing, and Balfour was able to blow a fastball down the middle for the second out.

Jose Altuve, who is hitting .309 this year, came up with two outs, and he hit a ground ball to Josh Donaldson at shortstop. Donaldson made the play, ending the game, and the A’s escaped with a huge win. Bedard managed to fight through five innings and only allow two runs, but the bullpen surrendered four runs in four innings.

Now, Oakland has won six out of seven and is 26-23, right in the thick of things in the AL West. The A’s are 7-0 against the Astros this year, and they have used the 14-34 Astros to stay in the AL West race. Oakland is still five games behind the Texas Rangers, but they are in the race.

The A’s have two winnable games ahead against the Astros, which they can use to inch closer to the Rangers. Tonight was a huge step, as the A’s pulled off another huge win. The momentum is still there in Oakland, as the team is ready to win two more games this series. And from there, the A’s can take off.