Houston Astros rout Oakland A’s, improve to 3-0

By Field Level Media
Apr 3, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. (43) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Yordan Alvarez had a three-run home run among three hits, and four Houston pitchers limited Oakland to a total of three singles Saturday afternoon as the visiting Astros made it three straight over the A’s with a 9-1 victory.

Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0) struck out seven in five innings, allowing just one run on two hits, to help Houston start 3-0 for the first time since its World Series-winning year of 2017.

The win might have come at a cost to the Astros, however, as Michael Brantley was hit on the right wrist by a Cole Irvin pitch in the first inning and had to leave the game at inning’s end.

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Irvin (0-1), a left-hander who won a spot in the A’s opening rotation in spring training, couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning, charged with four runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out two.

After the teams traded runs in the first inning, Houston took the lead for good in the second on an RBI single by Jose Altuve before giving McCullers and the Astros’ bullpen a cushion with a three-run fifth.

The Astros piled on in the ninth on an RBI double by Chas McCormick, a run-scoring single by Aledmys Diaz, a Reymin Guduan wild pitch, and a Kyle Tucker sacrifice fly.

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Brooks Raley, who pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, was credited with his first save.

Diaz matched Alvarez’s three-hit total for the Astros, who outhit the A’s 13-3. Diaz, Alvarez and McCormick all scored twice, while Tucker drove in two runs.

–Field Level Media