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Harris rebounds but A’s fall to Astros in series opener

The A’s couldn’t capitalize on the southpaw’s first quality start in over a month.

MLB: JUL 20 Astros at Athletics Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics’ winning streak ended at two as they fell to the Houston Astros in the first of a four-game set.

This time, it wasn’t the pitching’s fault as Hogan Harris threw his first quality start in over a month. After giving up four or more runs in every one of his past four starts, the southpaw only allowed two runs over six innings this start, keeping a strong Astros lineup at bay for the first two-thirds of the game. He also struck out six batters and didn’t allow any walks, a huge milestone for a pitcher who’s biggest weakness has typically been his middling command. This was a much-needed start for a pitcher who was on the fringes of keeping his rotation spot. For the time being, it looks like Harris will stay in the rotation as he looks to build on a strong outing.

Knocking on the door behind him is prospect Freddy Tarnok in his second outing with the A’s. Over the last three innings of the game, Tarnok only let three baserunners get on and gave up a solo homer to Astros third baseman Alex Bregman. Overall though, he had a promising outing after struggling in his Oakland A’s debut.

Though the pitching staff did its job for the most part, the lineup did not hold up its end of the bargain. Seth Brown, positioned at first base today, got things started early in the bottom of the 1st inning with an RBI double that scored Tony Kemp. Unfortunately, the A’s were held scoreless J.P. France, Bryan Abreu, and closer Ryan Pressly for the next 8 innings. Kyle Tucker’s two-run double in the top of the 6th was enough to get the Astros the win.

And for those keeping track, Soderstrom and Gelof went 1-8 with 3 strikeouts as the rookies continue their major league journey and learn how to adjust to the highest level of pitching.

The Oakland A’s will look to even the series tomorrow with a pseudo-ace matchup of JP Sears versus Framber Valdez.