Astros top Oakland behind Peacock's strong start

Astros top Oakland behind Peacock's strong start
September 6, 2013, 12:00 am
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Fields on his four-out save

The Astros jumped out to a three-run lead early, then held on at the end to beat the A’s 3-2 in the first game of a four-game series in Oakland. Brad Peacock got the start and pitched well against his old team, going seven-plus innings and giving up just one run. Jose Altuve and Trevor Crowe each had a pair of hits for the Astros, who improved to 47-93 on the season.

Turning Point:

The quick answer could be when Brad Peacock took the mound, but it was the play that gave the Astros right-hander some breathing room that changed the game. With L.J. Hoes on second base, Jose Altuve singled to left field with two outs in the top of the second inning. As Hoes was rounding third, left fielder Yeonis Cespedes charged hard hoping for a play at the plate. Instead, the ball snuck under Cespedes’ glove, allowing Matt Pagnozzi to score all the way from first base, giving Peacock a three-run lead to work with early.

Starting piching:

Brad Peacock was in command his entire outing for the Astros. He allowed five hits in seven-plus innings and didn’t allow a single A’s player to get past second base until the eighth inning. He walked one batter and struck out nine. He was pulled after giving up a triple and double to start the eighth inning.

The last time the Astros faced Sonny Gray, the A’s righty shut them out for eight innings. On Thursday, the Astros scored three runs in the first two innings.   After that point, though, Gray was just as good as the first time he saw the Astros. He retired all but one batter after Altuve’s single until he was pulled after eight innings.

Bullpen:

The Astros bullpen came into the game in the eighth inning, leading 3-1 with a runner on second and nobody out. Kevin Chapman got pair of outs before a bunt single put runners on the corners. At that point Bo Porter came out and replaced Chapman with Jorge De Leon.

De Leon induced a swinging bunt that De Leon charged and tossed to home in an effort to get Stephen Vogt. Vogt was safe on a close play at the plate and Porter was tossed for arguing the call.

Josh Fields replaced De Leon and got Cespedes to ground into a fielder’s choice.

Fields came out again in the ninth inning and retired the side in order for a four-out save.

Lineup:

The offense started with a bang, but ended with a fizzle, scoring three runs in the first two innings but then falling silent the rest of the way.

Jose Altuve singled in the first inning with one out, but was then picked off of first. Trevor Crowe was up next and doubled. After a walk to Brett Wallace, Chris Carter singled to left field to drive in Crowe.

In the second, Hoes and Pagnozzi had back to back singles with one out. Villar struck out next before Altuve came through with two outs with a single that Cespedes whiffed on, allowing both runners to score and put Houston up 3-0.

From that point on, the bats went silent, though. A’s pitching retired 22 of the next 24 batters.

Up Next:

Game 2 of the Astros’ four-game series with the A’s.  Dallas Keuchel (5-8, 4.77 ERA), who has gone at least seven innings in three of his last four starts, will take the mound for the Astros. A.J. Griffin (12-9, 3.59 ERA) will pitch for the A’s. First pitch is scheduled for 9:10, coverage begins on CSN Houston with Astros Pregame Live at 8:30.

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