By Michael Wagaman
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — George Springer came up short in three attempts at completing the cycle with a triple. The Astros’ leadoff man settled for a spot in the team’s record book instead.
Springer went 6 for 6 with a home run to match a Houston mark as the Astros routed the Oakland Athletics 16-2 on Monday night.
“I don’t even know how to explain it,” Springer said. “I’m happy to get six hits in a week, let alone six hits in a game. I’m pretty speechless, to be honest.”
Last year’s World Series MVP doubled and scored in the first inning, hit a three-run homer in the second and then singled and scored in the fourth. Needing a triple for the cycle, he reached on infield singles in the fifth and seventh before adding a fourth single up the middle in the ninth.
Springer’s batting average jumped from .264 to .292. He became the second player in club history to go 6 for 6 and the first to do it in a nine-inning game. Hall of Famer Joe Morgan accomplished the feat in a 12-inning game against the Milwaukee Braves on July 8, 1965.
“It was a remarkable night,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “You don’t see that many at-bats and then on top of that, that many hits, in a lot of different ways, different parts of the ballpark. He’s obviously seeing the ball really well.”
Three-time batting champ Jose Altuve was in awe.
“Six hits, that’s so crazy,” Altuve said. “How do you get six hits? That was impressive.”
Springer was given the ball from his sixth hit.
“I’ll save it,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll ever sniff (six hits) again. For me to get six, that means that the guys behind me were productive as well. It was a good night for the team.”
Marwin Gonzalez also went deep and matched his career high of five RBIs. Derek Fisher hit his third home run and Max Stassi doubled twice and scored two runs for the Astros.
Houston set season highs for runs and hits (20) in its most lopsided win this season. The Astros beat the A’s 11-0 on April 28.
Dallas Keuchel (2-5) yielded one run and five hits over eight innings. The Houston left-hander, who gave up three homers and six runs the last time he faced the A’s on April 27, struck out four and walked two.
“I owed them a butt whipping so that was nice,” Keuchel said. “I’ve been attacking the inside part of the plate with the cutter, the two-seamer and the four-seamer. That’s allowed me to put doubt in the hitters’ minds.”
Jonathan Lucroy had two hits and an RBI for Oakland.
The A’s played without outfielder Stephen Piscotty, whose mother died late Sunday night, less than a year after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Gretchen Piscotty was diagnosed with ALS in May 2017 when her son was with St. Louis. The Cardinals traded him to Oakland in December in part to allow Piscotty to be closer to his home in the East Bay suburb of Pleasanton during his mother’s terminal illness.
Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in the fourth, when the Astros scored six runs.
Oakland lefty Brett Anderson (0-1) failed to make it out of the fourth in his first start at the Coliseum in an A’s uniform since Sept. 22, 2013. Anderson allowed seven earned runs and 10 hits.
“I didn’t have any pitches to finish them off,” he said. “Nobody should feel comfortable enough in there to get six hits whether or not they’re Tony Gwynn with Billy Hamilton’s speed, regardless of who’s out there.”
Astros right fielder Josh Reddick, who spent five seasons in Oakland and was recently selected to the A’s 50th anniversary team, was given his jersey for being on the squad by general manager David Forst during a brief pregame ceremony.
Athletics: LHP Ryan Buchter (strained left shoulder) continues to do strength and conditioning work but has not resumed throwing.
LHP Sean Manaea (4-3, 1.63 ERA) makes his first start in Oakland since pitching the majors’ first no-hitter this season on April 21. Manaea has a 12-inning hitless streak at the Coliseum. RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1, 3.73) gets the ball for Houston. The 2017 All-Star has gone at least six innings in each of his four starts this season.
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