The Astros fell behind Oakland 3-0 Friday night before they even came to the plate. They had the Athletics right where they wanted them. Fourteen hits and nine runs later, the Astros had their 10th come from behind win, this one, a 9-4 effort at Minute Maid Park to begin a seven-game home stand against division opponents.
After losing back-to-back one-run games in Cleveland, the Astros were able to get a healthy George Springer and Jose Altuve back into a lineup that received several strong contributions.
“When we have our full team intact, we’ve got a long lineup and we just keep coming at you,” said manager A.J. Hinch. “I don’t want to fall into a habit of falling behind the way that we have in the first month. But this month will convince our players that we are never out of it, we are just going to keep pecking away at them.”
The Astros had to peck away early after Charlie Morton allowed a three-run homer to Khris Davis in the first inning and another solo shot to Davis in the third that put the A’s back in front 4-3.
Houston tied the game at 4 in the bottom of the fourth on an infield hit from George Springer. The Astros took the lead for good in the fifth when Evan Gattis delivered a run scoring single, one of his three hits in the game.
Yuli Gurriel also produced a three-hit night, capping his evening with a solo home run to the Crawford Boxes in the 7th. Houston added two more runs in the eighth for good measure.
Morton settled down to earn his second win as an Astros, throwing seven innings, while striking out a career best 12.
“He just got stronger and stronger and stronger as the game went along,” Hinch explained. “As he built himself up and the velocity came up a little bit, his conviction and pitches got way better.”
The skipper described the finish to his start as the best Morton has pitched as an Astro.
The Astros have now won 10 straight game against the Athletics. Houston (15-8) will host Oakland Saturday night at 6:10. Joe Musgrove will start for Houston against Andrew Triggs.
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