Bud Norris (2-1, 1.96) vs Bartolo Colon (1-0, 4.15)
The return of Road Bud. Last season, Bud Norris was rock solid at MMP (1.71 ERA), but disastrously bad on the road (6.94 ERA). After two home starts and one on the road, Bud was still looking great this season, but today he paid a visit to the Erik Bedard School of Ineffectiveness. Cuddly Budly never escaped the 1st, and Houston's late rally attempt came up short. Oakland sweeps the Astros for the second time this season, winning today by a 7-5 score. Houston returns home 3-6 on the road trip, and 4-11 on the season.
On the Mound:
*Like Erik Bedard two days before, Bud's bad day gave the game away early. Of his 46 pitches, only 24 were strikes, and the result was a lot of A's offense: 0.2 IP / 5 H / 6 R / 6 ER / 3 BB / 0 K.
*Xavier Cedeno came in and shut down the Oakland offense until the 4th, but then he ran into his own share of trouble. His line: 2.2 IP / 3 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 2 BB / 1 K.
*The bullpen actually managed 4.2 scoreless IP after that, split between Wesley Wright (2.1 IP), Hector Ambriz (1.1 IP), and Jose Veras (1 IP).
At the Plate:
*Houston's 5 runs and 11 hits were both season highs vs. Oakland, but it wasn't enough after the A's 1st inning avalanche.
*Jose Altuve gave the Astros a very short-lived 1-0 lead in the 1st, and scored a run later on, but his 3 for 5 day was overshadowed by hitting into a game-ending double play.
*Carlos Pena homered for the second straight day - a solo shot - and finished 1 for 4 with a K.
*Rick Ankiel continued being the odd enigma that he is, blasting his third HR of the season in his lone AB today. He's now got 3 HR in 28 AB, but also 20 K.
*Chris Carter went 0 for 4 and returned to his K ways, fanning twice, but he also earned a RBI on a fielder's choice.
*Marwin Gonzalez had the other RBI, going 1 for 4.
*Jason Castro (2 for 4, 2B) and Matt Dominguez (2 for 4, R, K) each had a multi-hit day.
*J.D. Martinez had a double of his own, going 1 for 4.
*Brandon Barnes was 0 for 2, but with a walk and a run scored, when Rick Ankiel pinch-hit (and homered) for him in the 9th.
*After stealing only one base in their first 15 games, the Astros were 3 for 3 in their attempts today, with steals going to Barnes, Gonzalez, and Altuve - all in the 7th.
The Astros managed to get the tying run to the plate in the 7th and again in the 9th, but Oakland never relinquished control after the 1st. Bud's bad day: double, single, single, walk, pop up, double, walk, single, walk, ground out. That turned a 1-0 lead into a 6-1 hole.
Man of the Match:
Jose Altuve. Double play notwithstanding, this was Altuve's 7th multi-hit game of Houston's 15 so far, and he's up to .365 on the season.
Goat of the Game:
Bud Norris. Not so studly today.