And we're back to the fun blowouts. The A's even their record with a big win over Houston tonight, bringing their season record back to .500 while they suppress jealousy at the records of Kansas City and Detroit; the only two teams who have scored close to as many runs as the A's so far this young season. None of that is yet important. What is important is that the A's left their weekend struggles behind in Oakland and came out swinging out of the gates; hanging a 3-spot on Scott Feldman and the Houston Astros before they even knew what had happened.
Meanwhile, Scott Kazmir, who apparently can find a tweak in his body during every start, just to sufficiently freak out trainers and fans alike, made it through six innings, allowing three hits, one run, while striking out eight. His three walks, a ginger landing on his ankle and the 8-1 lead game drove him from the game after the sixth, leaving Abad, Otero and Chavez to finish the mopping job.
The A's got on the board before the game even got going. Sam Fuld reached on an error by the Houston shortstop; a tough way to start the game for Houston, and Feldman never really recovered. Mark Canha doubled Fuld in for the first run on a close play at the plate, and another error on the throw again by Villar sent Canha to third. Zobrist doubled him in and a later single by Ike Davis put the A's up 3-0. A home run to lead off the second inning by Brett Lawrie staked Kazmir to a 4-0 lead.
Kazmir didn't give up a hit until the fourth inning, when Altuve led off the inning with a home run. Kazmir walked the next two batters to bring the tying run to the plate with no one out, but a sensational play by Brett Lawrie down the line turned a double into a double-play. Kazmir would get out of the inning with the 4-1 lead.
The A's offense decided not to make it interesting or close, so Marcus Semien hit a home run to lead off the fifth inning. After Fuld singled, Canha made a bid for his third hit, but a nice play took it away from him. Zobrist however; did single to set the table for a hearty Country Breakfast. Billy Butler hit his first home run with the A's, and it was a shot that caused everyone in the stadium or watching on TV to stop, drop everything and simple stare as it jettisoned out into the Houston night, out of the ballpark, down the street, landing somewhere outside the stadium. Or maybe not at all. That ball was crushed. Billy Butler is winning A's fans every day, every game.
Up 8-1, the A's wouldn't need to worry again. Super Sam Fuld saved a run with an amazing diving catch in the bottom of the fifth, the A's lost another challenge in the eighth as par for the course, and the A's have made it through 8 games without stealing a single base. To be fair, who needs stolen bases when you have three home runs?
The only sad note in the game today (assuming that Kazmir is fine) was Stephen Vogt turning his left ankle out of the box. He'll be re-evaluated tomorrow. At least it's not his other, surgically-repaired foot.
The A's try to win the series tomorrow behind Kendall Graveman, who would like to improve on his last start.
Here's what's on for tomorrow:
We'll see you right back here with all the action.