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Athletics’ bats come alive late, defeat Astros 5-1

Jul 15, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Tony Kemp (5) celebrates with designated hitter Chad Pinder (10) and first baseman Seth Brown (15) during the seventh inning against the Houston Astros  at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Irvin produced his third consecutive quality start while Elvis Andrus capped a seventh-inning rally with a two-run single as the visiting Oakland Athletics topped the Houston Astros 5-1 on Friday.

Irvin (4-7) retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced and did not allow a hit until Astros third baseman Alex Bregman delivered a two-out single to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Astros broke through with a run in the fifth. It started with a leadoff double by left fielder Chas McCormick. J.J. Matijevic’s ground ball to the right side of the infield advanced McCormick to third base, and Jose Siri plated the run with a sacrifice fly to center.

Irvin surrendered a leadoff single to Mauricio Dubon in the sixth but retired the next three batters in order. He allowed three hits and one walk while recording four strikeouts in his second consecutive quality start against the Astros.

Irvin allowed two runs on five hits with two strikeouts over six innings in a 6-1 home loss to Houston on Sunday.

The Athletics rallied on his behalf in the seventh off Astros right-hander Jose Urquidy (8-4). Oakland pushed runners into scoring position in the first, fourth and fifth innings against Urquidy, but he was up to each challenge.

Urquidy retired eight consecutive batters after his wild pitch advanced Vimael Machin to second base in the first, and after Sean Murphy doubled to left with one out in the fourth, Urquidy retired eight of nine batters to keep rolling.

But Seth Brown and Chad Pinder opened the seventh with a single and double, respectively, to put runners at second and third with no outs. Andrus followed by lining the first pitch to center, plating both runners for a 2-1 lead. Andrus, who advanced to second on Jake Meyers’ fielding error and to third on the second wild pitch from Urquidy, scored when Skye Bolt greeted reliever Ryne Stanek with an RBI single to right.

Bolt added his second home run of the season in the eighth, a two-run shot off Astros reliever Seth Martinez.

–Field Level Media