Every member of Houston's starting lineup got a hit on Wednesday and they needed most of them. Both teams rang up runs in five of the nine innings and the Astros stayed a few steps ahead in an 11-8 whack-a-thon at Minute Maid. Jesse Hahn and David Paulino were the starters but neither had a good night. For the second time in a week, Michael Feliz got the victory just for showing up at the right place at the right time.
Spinger: Another big night
(c) Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle
George Springer set a new franchise record for leadoff homers with his ninth of the season and 24th overall as he makes a late push for an All-Star Game start. After two, the Astros led, 4-1, as Paulino had a comfortable margin.
But Oakland struck back with four runs in the third to take a 5-4 lead. The key blast was the second homer of the night from Khris Davis who drilled a three-run shot. The Astros struck back with five in their half of the inning to reclaim the lead, 9-5. Paulino lasted just four innings and gave up seven runs, causing his ERA to climb to 6.52. He fanned eight and walked nobody but he was belted for four home runs.
The Athletics added single tallies in the fourth, fifth and seventh with the Astros responding in the sixth and seventh.
Springer led the 17-hit assault with three hits and a walk. Josh Reddick, batting behind him, also had three hits, drove in three and swiped two bases. Jose Altuve added two hits, two walks and two steals. Everyone contributed in a team win.
Ken Giles earned his 18th save after Feliz, Tony Sipp, Will Harris and Luke Gregerson all worked an inning.
The finale of the three-game series comes on Thursday afternoon in a businessman's special. Brad Peacock (4-1) returns from paternity leave to pitch the 1:10 Central start. Righthander Daniel Gossett (1-2) will get the nod for the A's.
In the health report, Collin McHugh will make his first rehab start for AA Corpus Christi on Friday while Charlie Morton has returned to Houston after an effective four-inning rehab start at AAA Fresno. Either is eligible to come back from the Disabled List at any time but there's no urgency at this point. However, Joe Musgrove, Francis Martes and Paulino also struggled badly in their most recent respective starts so a return by either should be welcome.
- Bob Hulsey