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Game #132: A’s squander early lead against Astros, lose 11-4

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Following an early 4-0 A’s lead, the Astros scored 11 unanswered runs to take the game.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Monday’s game started out oh-so-promising, then went downhill in a HURRY.

With Khris Davis on base, Marcus Semien got the scoring started with a towering home run on a 1-0 Gerrit Cole fastball. 2-0 Oakland.

With Ramon Laureano on base, Matt Chapman – who remains on absolute fire – followed that up with a 3rd inning 2-run shot of his own on a 3-1 slider. 4-0 Oakland.

It felt like that lead was going to be safe given recent pitching trends, but alas, the glory was never going to last forever.

After Brett Anderson retired Josh Reddick to start the third, Martin Maldonado singled to center field on a 3-2 sinker. George Springer followed with a double, scoring Maldonado. Alex Bregman followed that up with a double of his own, scoring Springer. Jose Altuve followed with yet another double, scoring Bregman.

Anderson retired Carlos Correa, but Marwin Gonzalez followed with a single, scoring Altuve – that was the end of Anderson’s outing.

Yusmiero Petit took over the mound, and Tyler White singled, scoring Gonzalez. Evan Gattis then singled, and Josh Reddick got out for a second time to end the inning.

5-4 Astros.

Little of importance happened in the A’s half of the 4th and 5th innings. But in the bottom of the fourth, Daniel Mengden (recalled early Monday), took over pitching duties. His performance would end up being a real silver lining to an otherwise abysmal game, as he tossed four scoreless innings in his first career relief appearance.

Matt Chapman, our savior and shining star, led off the 6th inning with a promising double. However, neither Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, nor Matt Olson could capitalize.

Collin McCugh took over for Cole in the top of the seventh, allowing a single to Jonathan Lucroy but otherwise retiring Stephen Piscotty, Marcus Semien, and Ramon Laureano.

Nick Martini, Matt Chapman, and Jed Lowrie went down in order at the hands of Ryan Pressly in the top of the 8th.

The game was still very much within reach at that point. But that would soon change.

Reddick singled off Lou Trivino to start the bottom half, and then Maldonado struck out. Springer walked, and then Bregman followed with a dagger of a home run to right center. Altuve then walked on five pitches, and that was it for Trivino, who’s already given up as many homers this half as he did in the entire first fast.

8-4 Astros.

Emilio Pagan came in in relief, and Correa grounded Altuve into a force out at second. Gonzalez waled on four pitches, then Tyler White homered.

11-4 Astros.

In the top of the ninth, Davis was called out on strikes, Olson popped out, Piscotty singled, and Semien grounded out to end the game.

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The A’s are now 2.5 games back on the Astros for the AL West lead, but could still be only .5 games back by the time this series is over!