After dropping the first two, Oakland finally beat the Astros, winning the third game 8-5 on Saturday night in Houston.
A tough first inning from the starter made things look bleak early but he settled in after that, not allowing a run the rest of his day while the bats just chipped away over the next eight innings, scoring in five of them. They’ll go for the series split tomorrow in the finale.
*** Click here to revisit today’s Game Thread! ***
After getting staked to a quick 1-run lead thanks to a Sean Murphy RBI single in the top of the first…
Murph gettin' it done early! pic.twitter.com/Pmit1dOgKT— Oakland A's (@Athletics) September 17, 2022
… Oakland “veteran” starter Cole Irvin took the ball for the club and had an opening frame to forget. The left-hander, who has struggled on the road compared to home this year, was off early and allowed three home runs: two solo shots and a 2-run bomb. A quick lead was suddenly a big early deficit.
And so, the bats got to work. They brought in a run in the third off a Vimael Machin sac fly, then a Chad Pinder homer in the fourth…
PINDER POWER pic.twitter.com/Mie41GbDp3— Oakland A's (@Athletics) September 18, 2022
… before a huge homer from Seth Brown in the fifth gave the A’s a lead they would never relinquish:
SETH BROWN SECOND DECK pic.twitter.com/YMopvzFY0D— Oakland A's (@Athletics) September 18, 2022
The offense added on a run in the seventh and ninth innings, but the attention was now on the pitching. All Irvin had done since the first inning was lock down the Houston lineup, firing six scoreless frames and allowing just one more hit after that first inning disaster where he allowed six hits. Absolutely stellar, and unexpected, considering how he started this game.
-Cole Irvin: 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 73 pitches.
The only other run Houston got was a solo shot from Yordan Alvarez off off AJ Puk in the eighth. That extra run made it a save situation for Domingo Acevedo in the ninth and he pitched a scoreless frame to pick up only his second save of the season. Slightly surprising considering how many games he’s made it into this year.
Finally, they get a win this series. The comeback definitely helps as the A’s strive to avoid 100 losses, as they now “only” need to go 10-6 the rest of the way to meet that goal.
Prized pitching prospect Ken Waldichuk is set for the start tomorrow morning in the finale, his fourth career appearance. He’ll have a tough time going against Framber Valdez.