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A’s drop close one to Astros 3-2

But a very good start from JP Sears

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s lost to the Houston Astros today, dropping the second game of the series by a final of 3-2.

Things got off to a rough start for starting pitcher JP Sears. Houston tagged him for a couple runs in the first inning and Sears was probably lucky to not give up more after loading the bases. He buckled down and got a big strikeout to finally end the frame.

And after that Sears settled in. The young lefty threw five more innings while only allowing one more hit the rest of his day. A hugely encouraging start when you think about how his day started.

-JP Sears: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K

That’s back-to-back encouraging starts for Sears now and him and the club hope this is where he can really get into a groove. The club could definitely use it and hope he continues to build off these starts.

On the other side of the ball the A’s couldn’t get anything going for the first few innings against Houston starter Hunter Brown. It wasn’t until the second time through the order that they started cooking. First baseman Ryan Noda led off the fourth with a double to right field and #3 hitter Brent Rooker brought him in with a single that just snuck under the glove of the Houston shortstop:

Man, Rooker just continues to provide offense for this team. Possible All-Star?

Oakland tied it up a couple innings later with a Ruiz run. Esteury singled and stole second base and advanced to third on an error, then Noda brought him in with a sac fly to knot this game up at 2 apiece:

Young righty Adrian Martinez relieved Sears and had a scoreless 7th but Richard Lovelady wasn’t so fortunate in the 8th as he gave up a booming home run to Yordan Alvarez to give Houston the late lead. Ramon Laureano barely even turned.

The A’s threatened to tie this game up in the ninth, getting the tying run to second base. Sadly JJ Bleday struck out swinging to end this one, dropping Oakland to 10-36.

Dang, thought they were gonna steal this one. Still, the start from JP Sears was really encouraging, especially against a tough Astros lineup.

Oakland will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow morning when James Kaprielian takes the mound. He’s coming off one of his better starts this year when he fired 7 innings against the Rangers with only 3 runs allowed. The A’s would be happy to take that again from him. He’ll be opposed by the tough lefty Framber Valdez. Let’s not get swept.