Rookie Myles Straw has got off to a running start in his second stint in the big leagues.
Straw had three hits, three stolen bases and scored his third run of the game on Michael Brantley’s go-ahead single in the 12th inning to help the Houston Astros complete their second three-game sweep of the season against the Oakland Athletics with a 6-4 victory on Sunday.
“He had a very impactful game obviously,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “The pressure that he could put on an opponent, you could feel it every time he came up to bat or got on base. … Exactly the reason why we like him and why we think he can help a winning team.”
Straw, who was primarily a pinch-runner as a September call-up last season, has delivered in a big way since getting another chance earlier in the week when Carlos Correa went on the injured list with a cracked rib. He scored the tying run as a pinch-runner on Friday and then did just about everything in his third career start to give the Astros their sixth sweep in their last nine series in Oakland. Houston also swept the A’s at home in a three-game series in April.
He beat out an infield hit in the third inning; singled, stole a base and scored from second on an infield grounder in the fifth; walked stole a base and scored in the seventh; and then started the winning rally in the 12th with a single and stolen base off Lou Trivino (2-3).
Alex Bregman walked with one out before Brantley and Yuli Gurriel followed with RBI singles that made it 6-4.
“I’m doing everything I can,” Straw said. “Just let those guys behind me take care of the rest. Get on base is my job and create havoc on the bases.”
The A’s were held to seven runs in the series with all the scoring coming on six homers. They had four solo homers Sunday with Robbie Grossman, Jurickson Profar, Ramón Laureano and Matt Chapman all connecting but couldn’t generate any other offense.
“It’s been a little bit of a roller-coaster for us,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We have to find a way to be more consistent. Usually when we are good, we draw some walks making guys work and get some guys on base and use our power that way. There are certain times you have to figure out to get some key hits with two outs with guys on. We had some opportunities.”
Josh James (3-0) pitched two perfect innings for the win.
Trivino took the loss for the third time in Oakland’s past four games.
Astros: Houston’s long list of injured players including 2B Jose Altuve (hamstring) and OF George Springer (hamstring) got a day off from rehab for a recovery.
Athletics: LHP Brett Anderson, who was removed as a precaution Saturday after feeling something in his right side, got treatment and the A’s are hopeful he will be able to make his next start Friday at Texas.
The Astros capitalized on their speed. Tony Kemp went from first to third on a single by Straw in the fifth. Straw then stole second and both runs scored on Bregman’s infield grounder . Shortstop Marcus Semien fielded the ball in the hole but his long throw to first was in the dirt and Matt Olson couldn’t scoop it. The ball rolled a few feet away and Straw raced home with the go-ahead run on Semien’s second error of the season. Straw then added another run in the seventh when he walked, stole second and scored on Fisher’s single.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter ejected two more A’s this game. He tossed Stephen Piscotty after he questioned a called third strike that ended the 10th inning. Melvin then came out to argue and was tossed as well. Porter ejected Semien on Saturday for arguing a foul ball call. It was the first career ejection for both Semien and Piscotty.
“We’re in a competitive situation there and tensions are high and when something like that happens, you’re not happy,” Piscotty said. “Most umpires can kind of let you vent a little bit. He didn’t. He didn’t the other night.”
Both starters ended up with no-decisions with Houston’s Gerrit Cole allowing two runs and four hits in six innings and Oakland’s Chris Bassitt giving up three runs and six hits in six innings.
Astros: RHP Corbin Martin (1-1, 5.51) will make his fifth career start in the series opener Monday at Seattle.
Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas (6-2, 2.40 ERA) heads into the series opener Tuesday at the Angels having gone eight straight starts without allowing a home run.
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