Athletics stifle Astros again to record first sweep of the season


The suddenly resurgent A’s completed an improbable three game sweep of the Astros behind another solid effort from Cole Irvin in a 4-2 win over Houston Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum.

Irvin (6-7, 3.05) won for the fourth time in five decisions in July as Oakland completed their first sweep of the season. It also marked the first time that the runaway division leading Astros have been swept in a series this season. In seven innings, he only allowed two runs on four hits against Houston. Irvin went 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA and issued only three walks in five July starts, four of which came in Oakland.

Steven Piscotty connects for a second inning home run during the Athletics 4-2 win over the Houston Astros Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum.

“Cole did a great job,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “That’s a bulldog mentality right there. To go out and throw another seven innings against this club, he gave us everything we needed today. We needed length and a great performance, and there he was to step up and give it to us.”

The A’s jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning with back-to-back homers by Stephen Vogt and Steven Piscotty off of Astros starter Cristian Javier (6-6, 3.26).

Houston got on the board in the fifth when a Jake Myers triple drove in Mauricio Dubon, but the Athletics got the run back in the bottom of the inning on a RBI double by Tony Kemp. Yordan Alvarez took an Irvin pitch deep into the right field bleachers for his 29th homer off the year in the sixth to cut Oakland’s lead to 3-2, but it would be as close as Houston would get.

“It’s definitely a great feeling,” Kotsay said. “We’ve played really good baseball this homestand. We look at that first half and we had trouble winning baseball games at home. This feels really good to start the second half.”

A.J. Puk came on to pitch a perfect ninth to record his second save of the homestand.

The Athletics boarded a plane after the game to take their newfound momentum to Chicago, where they’ll open a six game road trip with a weekend series against the White Sox. James Kaprielian (1-5, 4.74) is scheduled to take the mound for Oakland against Lance Lynn (1-3, 6.43) in the opener Friday night at 5:10PM.


The A’s have now won back-to-back series for the first time this season. They improved to 6-2 since the All-Star break.

Oakland improved to 13-10 in July and are on the verge of their first winning month of the season. The A’s have hit 29 home runs in those 23 games after coming into the month with only 54 homers in their first 78 games.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and his wife Aisha threw out ceremonial first balls before the game. Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation hosted over 1,000 kids from around the Oakland community at Wednesday’s game, and he also took part took part in batting practice.

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