Like so many A's-Astros games the big inning reared its head, this time in the form of a 5-run top of the 4th. But the writing was on the wall before then. The first 5 outs Colon recorded were strikeouts and in the meantime, over the first 3 innings the A's made plenty of solid contact against LHP Dallas Keuchel.
In the 3rd, Derek Norris crushed a ball to right-center field, about 400 feet as the Crowe flies. Unfortunately, Crowe flew over to run it down and take away what would have been a leadoff triple. That inning ended with Chris Young mashing a ball all the way to the wall in CF, which is especially deep (and rather hilly, I notice), where once again Crowe stuck his beak out and hauled it in.
So it was not really a shock when the A's lit Keuchel up in the 4th. However, as with yesterday's crooked number, which began with a Seth Smith bunt single, today's top of the 4th opened with a squibber -- this one to 2B off the bat of Yoenis Cespedes. Hurrying to throw to Carlos Peña as Peña was retreating to 1B, Jose Altuve threw wildly, missing Peña by a good 2-3 Altuves. Cespedes wound up at 2B. Josh Donaldson singled Cespedes home with a shot up the middle, Jed Lowrie poked a single to CF, and then in perhaps the best at bat of the game Smith peppered the LF line with a two-run double. Then Nate Freiman crushed a double to left-center to bring home Smith. 4 runs in and still nobody out. Coco Crisp's RBI single later brought home Freiman with the inning's 5th run.
Oakland's other run came on a booming HR to straightaway CF by Freiman in the 6th, an impressive clout. You know who else is an impressive clout, or lout? Bartolo Colon. His season high 9 Ks put an exclamation point on 7 innings of shutout ball.
Ryan Cook wobbled a bit in the 8th, giving up the 2 runs. It could have been worse but Cook got the leadoff batter, Altuve out, by stopping Altuve's bouncer up the middle with his foot and then firing to 1B just in time. Not even a "kick save," really. More of a "kick stop". Sean Doolittle worked a perfect 9th on 8 pitches because...well, because he's Sean Doolittle.
The A's don't see Houston again until July 22nd, so they will simply have to go about finding someone else to beat up on. How about...that team across the bay? Oakland opens up a 4-game "home and home" series tomorrow with the Giants, giving Vince Cotroneo just under 24 hours to finally figure out that tomorrow's starting pitcher for the Giants does not have a "d" anywhere in his last name. It's Madison Bumgarner -- not Bumgardener -- against Dan Straily for a 1:05pm Memorial Day start at the Coliseum.