NewsWorld News

Launches 3 homers and shuts out Astros to avoid 100th loss

HOUSTON — Ken Waldichuk pitched six hitless innings in relief and Brent Rooker hit the first of three home runs for the Oakland Athletics in their 4-0 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night.

Houston, which has a two-game lead in the AL West against Texas, fell to 9-2 against the last-place A’s this season. Oakland improved to 45-99, delaying the team’s 100th loss for at least one more day.

“They pitched a good game against us,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “It doesn’t matter who you play if a guy does business on the mound. They were treating.

Esteury Ruiz #1 of the Oakland Athletics and Shea Langeliers #23 celebrate their 4-0 loss against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 11, 2023 in Houston.

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Last season, Oakland went 60-102 after going 86-76 in 2021. The A’s need one more win in their final 18 games to ensure they avoid tying the franchise record of 117 losses in a season set when the team was in Philadelphia. . The lowest score in Oakland is 108 in 1979.

“We’ve had some good games lately against some playoff-contending teams,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “But tonight — as far as the mound — it was probably the best pitching performance we’ve had all year.”

Shea Langeliers and Ryan Noda also hit solo homers for the A’s.

Oakland opener Mason Miller pitched two innings and allowed one hit. Waldichuk (3-7) entered the third and gave up only two base runners, on a walk and on a hit.

“I felt like we got a big lead and our game plan was working really well,” Waldichuk said. “They’re one or two of the best offenses in the AL, so it means a little bit more to do it against them.”

The left-hander has allowed just one run in his last three outings, spanning 16 innings. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last 12 innings.

José Altuve led off the ninth with a single, the Astros’ first hit since Jeremy Peña singled in the first. Peña followed Altuve with another single reliever Trevor May, and what remained of the Minute Maid Park crowd began to stir.

But May then managed to drop Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker on three straight flyouts to hang on.

“We had an opportunity that looked a little promising,” Tucker said. “As long as we try to stick together at the plate, we’re still in play. It just didn’t work tonight.”

Oakland took a 1-0 lead in the second when Rooker crushed a 95 mph sinker from Framber Valdez (11-10) projected 442 feet onto the railroad tracks above left field.

The A’s picked up another run in the fifth when Kevin Smith doubled to right and Nick Allen followed with a single to make it 2-0.

Langeliers hit his 18th homer in the seventh and Noda beat Rafael Montero in the ninth for his 15th of the season.

Valdez allowed three runs on four hits and one walk while striking out 10 in seven innings. He is 2-3 with two no-decisions since throwing a no-hitter against Cleveland on August 1.


Athletics: OF JJ Bleday (left knee sprain) took batting practice for the first time since being injured Aug. 13. The second-year player was hitting .203 with 10 homers and 27 RBIs in 77 games for Oakland when he went down.

Astros: RHP Ryne Stanek played catch Sunday and pitched Monday for the first time since injuring his ankle last Monday at Texas, but Baker said it will be a while before the reliever is ready to come back.


“He might be one of the best weapons I’ve seen in person, if we’re being honest. His stuff is just unreal. It’s fun to watch him there. I knew when it opened today it was going to set the tone, and I felt like it was my responsibility to keep it going. — Waldichuk about Miller.


Altuve was selected as the American League Player of the Week last week. He hit .357 with six home runs, eight RBIs, a .400 on-base percentage, a 1.000 slugging percentage and a 1.400 OPS in six games. Altuve homered in four consecutive innings on Monday and Tuesday, becoming the only player in the majors since 1900 to accomplish the feat. This is the fifth time Altuve has won this award and the second time this season.


Houston RHP Justin Verlander (11-7, 3.23 ERA) faces LHP JP Sears (4-11, 4.51) in the middle of Tuesday’s series game.


Back to top button