HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – A pair of bases loaded walks in the second inning was all the scoring needed as the Houston Astros knocked off the Oakland Athletics 6-0 Monday night at Minute Maid Park.
Oakland starter Sean Manaea was able to retire the first two Astro hitters in the second until Yulieski Gurriel, starting at third base reached on an infield single to keep the inning alive.
Manaea then was the victim of bad luck as the next two Astro hitters reached thanks to errors by A’s third baseman Ryon Healy which loaded the bases. Manaea proceeded to issue bases loaded walks to Jake Marisnick and George Springer to give the Astros a 2-0 lead.
Jose Altuve added to his career high home run total, as he blasted his 22nd homer of the season to extend the Astros lead to 3-0. Altuve finished the game 1-4 and his American League leading batting average fell to .354.
Alex Bregman, playing as the Astros designated hitter Monday, drove in a pair of runs in the Astros half of the seventh to extend the lead to 5-0. Later in the inning Carlos Correa plated Springer with an RBI single to center to push the score to 6-0.
Joe Musgrove (W, 2-2) picked up the victory despite only pitching into the sixth. The rookie struck out seven and walked three without allowing a run and scattering three hits.
With the victory, and a 5-1 loss by the Orioles to the Blue Jays, the Astros are two games behind Baltimore for the second wild card spot in the American League.
AJ Hinch isn’t scoreboard watching just yet with just over a month to the season remaining.
“It doesn’t really matter what anybody else does if we don’t win, ” AJ Hinch said. “We got 29, 30 games left, I know if we win them all, we’ll make the playoffs. So we’ll start with the win tonight.”
The Astros continue their series with the Athletics on Tuesday. Collin Mchugh (8-10, 5.10 ERA) will square off against Oakland’s Kendall Graveman (10-8, 3.97 ERA) for a 7:10 first pitch at Minute Maid Park.
Alex Del Barrio can be heard on Saturday afternoons with Matt Murphy from 3-7 pm and on Sunday afternoons with Jeremy Branham on Sportsradio 610. Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio