Third-inning issues haunt Oakland A’s in loss to Houston Astros
OAKLAND – The Oakland A’s game against the Houston Astros on Friday night got out of hand in a hurry.
Within a span of a few minutes, and thanks in part to their own miscues, the A’s two-run deficit turned into a seemingly insurmountable five-run hole as the Astros went on a fairly comfortable 5-2 win before an announced crowd of 13,345 at the Coliseum.
With the A’s trailing 2-0 in the third inning with one out, an Alex Bregman fly ball fell between outfielder Seth Brown and third baseman Jace Peterson — landing right on the left field line — allowing Jose Altuve to score.
After right-handed starter James Kaprielian got Jose Abreu to pop out with the bases loaded, A’s catcher Carlos Pérez had a slider pop right out of his glove to allow Yordan Alvarez to score for a 3-0 Houston lead with two outs.
Corey Julks then followed that with a two-RBI single to center, giving the Astros a 5-0 advantage after just 2.5 innings.
Brown hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning, but the Astros already had the requisite amount of runs as they handed Oakland its season-high ninth straight loss. The A’s are now 4-21 against American League West opponents, and their series with the Astros continues with games Saturday and Sunday.
At 10-43, the A’s have the second-worst record of any big-league team since 1900, only ahead of the 1904 Washington Senators, who were 9-41 after 53 games (with three games called with the score tied).
Astros starter Hunter Brown retired 15 straight batters between the first and sixth innings. Brown finished with 10 strikeouts over seven innings, with Seth Brown’s homer one of just four hits that he allowed.
The A’s struck out 13 times in all.
Kaprielian, making his sixth start of the season, was otherwise solid as he retired six of the last eight batters he faced to go five innings, marking the third straight start he’s gone at least five.
Perez was charged with catcher interference in the fifth inning, giving Oakland its 34th error of the season. The A’s entered Friday with a .982 save percentage, which was tied for 24th out of 30 MLB teams.