Sunday, April 27, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G25: Astros v. Athletics

Dan Straily (1-1, 5.40) vs Dallas Keuchel (2-1, 3.38)

No beanings. No ejections. No errors. There was a 9th inning meltdown, but for once, it stopped just short of another disaster. A four-run rally in Houston's half of the 8th proved to be just enough, and the Astros held on to beat the A's 7-6. It was Houston's first win over Oakland in six tries this year, improving their overall record to 8-17.

On the Mound:

*Dallas Keuchel started the night shaky, but settled down famously after that, delivering his fourth straight quality start (out of five turns this season). After two runs on four hits and a walk in the 1st, Kid Keuchy's night ended up thus: 6.1 IP / 6 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 2 BB / 6 K.

*Jerome Williams allowed an inherited runner from Keuchel to score in the 7th, but otherwise did okay until the 9th. When, staked to a four-run lead after Houston's half of the 8th, he promptly surrendered a three-run homer to Brandon Moss with no outs in the 9th. Then a Nick Punto single put the tying run on base, still with no outs.

*Williams did get out #1 before he was lifted, then Raul Valdes was brought in to shut the door. Which he actually did, striking out the final two batters for his third straight scoreless outing, and for his first (and only) save since his first ever back in 2010.

At the Plate:

*7 runs on 8 hits, with only two team LOB. That kind of effective production from the offense was a breath of fresh air, and the 7 runs tied a season high for Houston (4/6 vs. LAA, 4/21 @ SEA).

*Dexter Fowler was the big man with the stick tonight, with a solo HR in the 1st (his second for the season) and a RBI single for the first of Houston's 4 runs in the 8th. He finished 2x4 with 2 R and a K, and extended his hitting streak to 7 games.

*cHRis Carter also went deep for the third time this season - a two-run mammoth shot to the power alley in left that had Houston in front 3-2 until the 7th. He'd end up 1x3 with a BB and 2 K.

*After consecutive 3x5 nights, Jose Altuve only went 1x4 this time, but he did also score a run.

*George Springer got his second double, and his second RBI, though not on the same play. He finished 1x4 with a K.

*Jason Castro celebrated his Bobblehead Night by going 1x4 with a R, a RBI, and 3 K.

*Alex Presley went 1x3 and has quietly assembled his own 7-game hitting streak now.

*Marwin Gonzalez was 1x3 with a K and a R, but that hit led off Houston's 4-run 8th.

*Marc Krauss was 0x3, but scored a run after a walk, and drove in the Astros' final (and deciding) run on a fielder's choice in the 8th.

Turning Point:

Houston's 3-2 lead after two was a 3-3 tie after seven, but Houston started the 8th with four straight singles off Oakland reliever Sean Doolittle, from Gonzalez, Altuve, Fowler, and Castro. The last two of those each drove in a run to make it 5-3, then Luke Gregerson replaced Doolittle as George Springer stepped in. Springer drove home Fowler from third on a fielder's choice for the first out, and a wild pitch from Gregerson allowed Castro to move up to third after. Marc Krauss then grounded to third for out #2, but that plated Castro to push Houston's sudden lead to 7-3. Which was good, because they would need it.

Man of the Match:

Dexter Fowler. But a tip o' the cap to Keuchel and Carter, too.

Goat of the Game:

Jerome Williams. Good gosh, man, we don't need that kind of excitement in our lives.