The Athletics just have the Astros' number
Jason Castro had another big game for the Astros. And the Oakland A’s had another win against the Astros.
Castro went 4-for-4 – all singles – but it wasn’t enough as Oakland rode the pitching of 40-year-old Bartolo Colon and a five-run fourth inning to beat the Astros 6-2 on Sunday at Minute Maid Park.
For the third time this season the Astros lost a three-game series with Oakland, two at Minute Maid Park.
“Baseball’s a funny game,” said Astros starter Dallas Keuchel (1-2), who was the victim of Oakland’s big fourth inning. “Sometimes somebody is going to kick your butt and you’re going to kick their butt.
“They got our number right now and we got to do something about it.”
Oakland has won 11 straight games against Houston dating to 2007. They are 14-1 all-time against the Astros.
The Astros were outscored 23-12 in the series. On Friday, Chris Young hit a three-run home run in the top of the ninth as the A’s won 6-5. On Saturday, Oakland had a season-high 18 hits in beating Houston 11-5.
On Sunday, Colon pitched seven scoreless innings and the A’s had 10 hits with Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson and Nate Freiman getting two hits each. Young, however, was 0-for-5.
“Right now if you were to look you would say, yes, they have our number,” said Astros manager Bo Porter. “They've beat us nine times in nine tries and today they were just better than us."
The Astros out-hit the A’s 12-10 and the Astros got a great performance from Trevor Crowe in center field. Crowe made several outstanding catches in the outfield and had a hit.
Castro’s four hits were a career high. On Saturday, Castro, along with Matt Dominguez, had two home runs each. Over the last four games Castro has gone 10-for 12 (.833) to raise his batting average from .238 to .283.
“It’s been pretty good,” said Castro. “I’ve gotten some pretty good pitches to hit. The main thing is I’m not trying to do too much now. It’s where I’ve been at.
“I feel when I try to do too much is when I get myself out. Just put the good part of the bat on the ball.”
J.D. Martinez and Chris Carter had Houston’s RBIs on Sunday with Castro and Martinez scoring.
In Oakland’s win on Saturday, the A’s had a six-run second inning. On Sunday it was the five-run fourth inning that started with a throwing error by second baseman Jose Altuve.
“It seems like with these guys it’s always that one big inning,” said Porter. “They smell it and they take advantage of it. They took advantage of every opportunity in that five-run inning. It started with the error and it snowballed from there.”
Colon improved to 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his three starts against the Astros this season. Colon allowed nine hits in seven innings but did not walk a batter and had nine strikeouts.
“He’s a veteran guy with really good command, understands exactly what he’s doing,” said Porter. “He knows how to plus and minus his fastball, so he gets you front to back as far speeds go.
“Then when you think you’re going to get the 90-mph fastball, he reaches back and gives you a little bit more.”