George Springer hit the sixth pitch of the game for a home run, Alex Bregman belted a grand slam, and Collin McHugh threw six shutout inning Tuesday night, sending the Houston Astros to a 10th straight win, 9-1 over the host Oakland Athletics. Josh Reddick also homered among three hits against his former team, helping the Astros win for the fourth straight time on their eight-game trip.
Springer got Houston headed in the right direction with his fifth homer of the season. It was his 26th career homer leading off a game and his 88th batting out of the leadoff spot. It was his second game-opening homer of the season. He hit Drew Smyly's seventh pitch of the game for a home run in a contest at Texas on April 1.
Reddick's homer, his first of the season, followed a single by Yuli Gurriel in the second inning and increased the Houston lead to 3-0 against A's starter Marco Estrada (0-2). The Astros busted the game open in the fourth.
Houston made it 4-0 when Springer drew a bases-loaded walk with one out. Estrada was pulled at that point, and reliever Liam Hendriks struck out Jose Altuve to get within one out of escaping the jam. However, Bregman followed with his second career grand slam, increasing the Houston lead to 8-0.
Bregman's only previous grand slam had come off the New York Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka on May 14, 2017. Estrada was charged with seven runs in 3 1/3 innings. He allowed five hits, walked three and struck out one.
McHugh (3-1) served up second-inning singles to Khris Davis and Stephen Piscotty but got a double-play grounder in between to minimize the threat. He then kept Oakland hitless through the rest of his outing, leaving with an 8-0 lead. McHugh allowed two hits and two walks while striking out five.
Josh James kept the shutout intact with scoreless seventh and eighth innings before the A's spoiled left-hander Reymin Guduan's season debut with a walk, two singles and a sacrifice fly by Kendrys Morales that got them on the scoreboard. Chris Devenski had to be summoned to record the final two outs.
Reddick complemented his three hits with two RBIs and two runs for the Astros, who were coming off a three-game sweep in Seattle. Gurriel had two hits and scored three times while Springer also scored twice.
--Field Level Media