Sports Minute: Tucker, Springer lead Astros to 6-3 win over A's to sweep DH
HOUSTON (AP) — Kyle Tucker hit a bases-clearing triple, George Springer homered and the Houston Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Saturday night for a doubleheader sweep.
In the first game, Lance McCullers Jr. pitched six effective innings in Houston's 4-2 victory. Tucker hit a three-run homer and Josh Reddick also connected.
The doubleheader was scheduled after the Athletics and Astros decided not to play Friday night in order to raise awareness of racial inequality in the wake of the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Wisconsin.
Houston won for the fourth time in five games and cut Oakland’s lead in the AL West to 2½ games.
Tucker's major league-leading sixth triple gave the Astros a 3-1 lead in the first.
Springer increased Houston’s lead to 5-1 with a two-run shot off Frankie Montas (2-3) in the second. Springer had two hits in the second game. He returned to the lineup Saturday after sitting out Tuesday’s doubleheader with a bruised left elbow.
Ramon Laureano and Matt Chapman homered in the second game for Oakland. Montas (2-3) allowed five runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Laureano opened the game with his second career leadoff homer. Chapman, who drove in both of Oakland’s runs in the first game, connected in the fourth against Zack Greinke (2-0).
Tommy La Stella, who was acquired in a trade with the Angels on Friday, cut Houston’s lead to 5-3 with a run-scoring groundout in the fifth.
Greinke allowed six hits and struck out six in five innings. Greinke has given up three runs or fewer in each of his seven starts this season.
Blake Taylor pitched the sixth, and Ryan Pressly got three outs for his sixth save. Pressly also earned a save in the doubleheader opener.
McCullers (3-2) allowed two runs — one earned — and six hits in the first game.
Tucker put Houston ahead to stay with his sixth homer in the first inning, a drive off Chris Bassitt (2-2) that went just inside the right-field foul pole.
DOUBLEHEADERS IN HOUSTON
Saturday’s doubleheader was the second for the Astros this week and third in Minute Maid Park history, with the other one on Sept. 2, 2017, against the Mets following Hurricane Harvey. The Astros and Angels moved up Thursday’s game to Tuesday ahead of Hurricane Laura, which made landfall in Louisiana on Thursday morning. Houston’s game on Wednesday against the Angels was postponed.
Astros: INF Aledmys Diaz was reinstated from the 10-day injured list.
Athletics: LHP Jesus Luzardo (2-1, 3.74 ERA) will make his sixth start of the season Sunday in the series finale. He is coming off his first loss after allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Rangers.
Astros: LHP Framber Valdez (3-2, 2.35 ERA) is scheduled to start on Sunday. Valdez has won three straight starts.
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