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Brown homers again but A’s lose 9th straight

Oakland couldn’t break their losing streak but the Rooker/Brown 1-2 combo is starting to show up.

Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s continued their losing streak today, this time in a 5-2 loss against their arch nemesis, the Houston Astros.

Estuery Ruiz started the game fast for the A’s, as he typically does, singling to left field and promptly stealing his 27th base of the season. FYI it’s not even June yet.

Unfortunately, the batters behind him couldn’t get him home and the A’s offense looked dead for the next 6 innings. Astros rookie starter Hunter Brown mowed Oakland’s hitters down with ease, allowing just one more baserunner until the 7th.

On the pitching side, James Kaprielian, making his third start since coming back up to the major league club, pitched 5 decent innings. Although he allowed 8 hits, 7 of them were singles, the last one being a double. The Astros’ 5 runs also came home while he was on the mound but the 5th one only happened after a Carlos Perez 2-out passed ball extended the inning. Another Perez mistake — catcher interference this time — got him into another tight spot in the 5th, putting runners at 1st and 2nd with Jose Abreu up to bat. Fortunately, Kap got the next two outs to complete the start.

Overall, I don’t think Kap did a poor job despite the crooked stat line. He’s pitched quite well since returning to the show and I think there’s a decent chance he’s solid for the rest of the season.

In the 7th inning, the A’s lineup started to show some life. Brent Rooker, who’s been on a bit of a cold streak after a scorching hot first 6 weeks, led the inning off with a ground ball single to left. And then Seth Brown, in his 5th game back from a month on the IL, took care of a 82 mph knuckle curve and launched it to deep left field for a 2-run homer. That’s back-to-back games with homeruns for Brown. After two months of struggling to find someone to hit cleanup behind Rooker, the A’s may finally have the solid 1-2 punch in the middle of the order that they’ve sorely lacked.

Unfortunately, it was too little, too late for the A’s and the Astros closed out the victory with Hector Neris pitching a clean 8th and Ryan Pressly striking out the side to get the save.

The A’s will hope to avoid their 10th straight loss tomorrow with Hogan Harris getting recalled to either start or come in after the opener.