If it looks to you like the Orioles are showing more plate discipline than they did during last year’s unprecedented competitive cataclysm, it is not your imagination.
The young hitters in the O’s lineup appear to be getting the message from their new analytics-fueled braintrust, and they’re starting...
The A’s won 97 games last year and enjoyed success against most every team, though the Astros were a maddening exception.
This year, the A’s would do themselves a big favor by putting up more of a fight against the American League West champs two years running.
Hello, Frankie Montas.
The A’s went 7-12 against Houston last year and opened this season 0-4, but Montas showed up Wednesday night and turned the momentum in favor of the A’s, who finally beat the Astros 2-1 before 11,323 at the Coliseum.
Matt Chapman’s sixth-inning homer off lefty Wade Miley broke a 1-1 tie and stood up as the difference as the Astros’ 10-game win streak - which began with a sweep of the A’s in Houston - was snapped.
Montas, 25, Oakland’s youngest and most gifted starter, regularly hit 98 mph and baffled hitters with his slider and newfound splitter. He opened with 4 1/3 hitless innings and didn’t exit until two batters into the seventh, earning his third win and lowering his ERA to 2.70.
It was a refreshing site for A’s fans a night after the series-opening 9-1 loss in which Marco Estrada was bounced in the fourth inning. With that, the Astros had outscored the A’s 142-87 since the start of last season.
The Astros’ first hit was Yili Gurriel’s sharp single up the middle in the fifth, and their first run came in the sixth on Michael Brantley’s two-out single through the left side as the A’s shifted him right.
Montas put the leadoff runner on for the first time, walking George Springer, and then threw wide at first on a pickoff move. With Springer at second, Bregman drew a two-out walk, and Brantley’s base hit made it 1-1.
The tie lasted mere moments as Chapman homered to open the home half of the sixth. Montas took the mound in the seventh and faced two more...