Astros bring 3-game road win streak into game against the Mariners
Houston Astros (63-32, first in the AL West) vs. Seattle Mariners (51-44, second in the AL West) Seattle; Sunday, 4:10 p.m. EDT PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Framber Valdez (8-4, 2.66 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 102 strikeouts); Mariners: Robbie Ray (8-6, 3.54 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 135 strikeouts) FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Astros -118, Mariners -101; over/under is 7 runs BOTTOM LINE: The Houston Astros hit the road against the Seattle Mariners aiming to continue a three-game road winning streak.Seattle has a 24-22 record in home games and a 51-44 record overall. The Mariners have a 21-12 record in games decided by one run.Houston has a 63-32 record overall and a 33-18 record on the road.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Chad Pinder hit his second grand slam in two weeks, Frankie Montas pitched five innings in what could be his final outing with Oakland and the Athletics held off the Houston Astros 5-3 on Tuesday night. © Provided by The Canadian Press
Tony Kemp had an RBI double and Stephen Piscotty doubled twice for the A’s. Oakland has won five of six.
Manager Mark Kotsay’s club still has the worst record in the American League but the vibe around the team is noticeably different.
“In the clubhouse you can tell the energy’s better,” Pinder said. “The (All-Star) break was good for us, especially with such a young team. To see everybody turn the page, it’s rewarding.”
LEADING OFF: Subway Series rolls, Ortiz honor, missing Cards
A look at what's happening around the majors on Tuesday: ___ ALL ABOARD Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso swing away as the Subway Series starts up at Citi Field with both New York teams in first place. Jordan Montgomery (3-2, 3.24 ERA) pitches for the Yankees, who own the best record in the majors at 66-31 and a whopping 12 1/2-game lead over Toronto in the AL East. Taijuan Walker (7-2, 2.55) starts for the Mets, whose once-formidable NL East edge over Atlanta was down to a half-game over the weekend. Walker is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last seven outings. Judge tops the majors with 37 homers and has 81 RBIs for the Yankees.
The A’s were out-hit 7-6 and committed an error that led to an unearned run but beat the major leagues’ best road team for the second night in a row before another small crowd of 5,130.
Montas (4-9) allowed three runs, two earned, and worked around three walks to win for the first time since June 11. The A’s right-hander has been the subject of trade rumors and his next scheduled start is on Aug. 2, the final day of the trade deadline.
He threw 78 pitches and struck out four in his second outing since missing time with inflammation in his pitching shoulder.
“I ain’t going to lie, I’ve been thinking about it especially with the deadline coming up pretty soon,” Montas said about the rumors. “It was a time today where I thought, ‘Hey this might be my last start here’ but I’m not trying to think about that. I’m here right now. Until whatever happens I’m still an Oakland A.”
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Montas hasn’t received much run support this season and Oakland’s offense was stifled against Houston until loading the bases in the third on an infield single and back-to-back, two-out walks by Luis García (8-6).
Pinder crushed a 1-2 pitch into the left field stands for a 4-0 lead. Pinder also hit a grand slam July 12 against the Rangers.
“Chad’s been a big part of this organization. He’s grown up here and I’ve grown up with him,” Kotsay said. “He’s got almost as many grand slams as I did homers in my career.”
Kotsay exaggerated just a bit. Pinder has four career grand slams compared to Kotsay’s 127 home runs over a 17-year career.
“Just happy that I’m swinging the bat well right now,” Pinder said. “Happy that we’re winning, happy that things are kind of falling together for this team.”
The A’s bullpen made it hold up with four no-hit innings. Lou Trivino pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
Trade deadline preview: Juan Soto sweepstakes down to wire
When Juan Soto turned down a $440 million, 15-year deal to stay with the Washington Nationals, it ensured Tuesday's 6 p.m. EDT trade deadline would have a little juice. That wasn’t a certainty when Major League Baseball and the players’ union agreed to an expanded postseason format this spring. With 12 October spots available — and no more one-game wild-card rounds — some had concerns about whether there would be enough star power left among sellers to satisfy a potentially growing number of buyers.
Kyle Tucker hit his 19th home run for the Astros. Yordan Alvarez added two hits.
Houston got within 4-3 in the fifth on Alvarez’s RBI double and a throwing error by third baseman Vimael Machín. The Astros had two on with two out later in the inning before Montas got Aledmys Díaz to fly out.
“Frankie’s been through a little bit of personal off-the-field things that have kind of weighed on him a little bit,” Kotsay said. “For him to go out and compete, perform, give us what all he had tonight … he really pitched a great game and gave us a chance to win.”
García had seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings but walked four and allowed four runs. Runner-up in AL Rookie of the Year voting a year ago, García had won his last five decisions dating to June 10.
The A’s added insurance in the eighth following back-to-back doubles by Piscotty and Kemp off Hector Neris.
Astros: 2B Jose Altuve and 1B Yuli Gurriel were held out of the starting lineup but both appeared as pinch-hitters in the ninth.
Athletics: Machín was hit by a pitch in his right elbow but stayed in the game.
Astros RHP Cristian Javier (6-5, 3.13 ERA) faces Oakland for the second time this season after lasting four innings against the A’s on May 31. LHP Cole Irvin (4-7, 3.08) pitches for Oakland and has defeated Houston once in seven career starts.
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Michael Wagaman, The Associated Press
Houston Astros and Cleveland Guardians meet in game 2 of series .
Houston Astros (69-38, first in the AL West) vs. Cleveland Guardians (54-51, second in the AL Central) Cleveland; Friday, 7:10 p.m. EDT PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Framber Valdez (9-4, 2.80 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 117 strikeouts); Guardians: Hunter Gaddis (0-0) FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Astros -202, Guardians +163; over/under is 8 1/2 runs BOTTOM LINE: The Houston Astros meet the Cleveland Guardians leading the series 1-0. Cleveland has a 54-51 recordCleveland; Friday, 7:10 p.m.