The Oakland A’s lost a heartbreaker in extra innings on Sunday in the series finale against their American League West division rivals, the Houston Astros, in a back and forth rubber match that ended with the Astros completing a three-game sweep of the A’s. This game took home Sunday’s Doubleday Double Talk MLB Game of the Day.
Brad Peacock took the mound for the Astros while A’s ace Mike Fiers took the bump for Oakland. Little did either pitcher know that they would combine to allow 11 runs in 6 1/3 innings pitched.
Chad Pinder opened the scoring for Oakland with a double off the rafters in left to score two. The A’s were in a good position to start the game, but their success would be short-lived. The Astros would come to the plate in the bottom of the first and would tack on five runs on an RBI single by Michael Brantley, an RBI infield hit from Carlos Correa, and a three-run home run to right from the normally weak-hitting Aledmys Díaz to make the score 5-2 after just one inning.
Robbie Grossman would respond right back in the second inning for Oakland with a two-run shot to right to cut Houston’s lead to one. Houston, not done after the first, scored a run on a walk to Aledmys Diaz and that would end Mike Fiers’ night against his former team.
The run scoring would stop until the top of the fourth when Grossman ripped a double into the left-field corner to score a run and make the score 6-5 in the Astros’ favor. In the top of the sixth, the A’s would regain the lead on a two-run shot by Josh Phegley over the short porch in left.
“That was nice,” Phegley said. “I feel the adjustments I’ve made this year are starting to pay off in the box. It’s good to see the results come from the effort.”
Once again, the A’s success would be short-lived and Tony Kemp would bring the score to 8-7 in the A’s favor with a dinger to right in the bottom of the eighth. An Alex Bregman sacrifice fly later that inning would knot the game up at eight.
In the bottom of the ninth with two outs, the score 8-8, Blake Treinen on the mound, and Jose Altuve at the plate, Treinen proceeded to walk Altuve on four consecutive pitches to end the game and the series with the Astros on top.
“There are certain variables you can’t control and some you can,” Blake Treinen said after the game. “Me throwing pitches in the zone is something I can control, or not control against Altuve. I didn’t give myself much of a chance to be successful in that at-bat.
“It’s frustrating when our team played as well as it did to stay in it.”
With the win, the Astros swept the A’s at home for the first time at home since 2016 and with that sweep, the Astros rise to 5-5 on the short season while the A’s dip below .500 with a 6-7 record.