Springer and Altuve homer to lead Astros over Athletics 4-2
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) - Jose Altuve and George Springer both hit two-run homers to back up another solid start by Justin Verlander and give the Houston Astros a 4-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
Houston bounced back after Tuesday's 4-3 loss in 11 innings snapped a six-game winning streak and improved to 9-2 against the Athletics this season.
Verlander (13-4) allowed two singles and one run, which was unearned, while striking out 11 in six innings for his third straight win. Will Harris pitched a scoreless seventh and Ryan Pressly allowed one hit in a scoreless eighth after not pitching since Thursday because of a sore knee.
Roberto Osuna allowed two hits and a run in the ninth before striking out Chris Herrmann for his 23rd save.
Oakland starter Chris Bassitt (7-5) yielded five hits and four runs in six innings for the loss after winning his previous two starts.
The Astros had trouble on defense early when Marcus Semien led off the game as he reached on an error by Alex Bregman on a bad throw to first base. Semien scored with one out when Matt Olson singled and reached second on an error by Josh Reddick in right field.
Bassitt was rolling early and retired the first seven batters he faced, striking out the first five, before Robinson Chirinos doubled with one out in the third. Springer's two-strike home run came with two outs to put Houston up 2-1. Springer has 23 home runs in 71 games this season after hitting 22 in 140 games last year.
Verlander had sat down nine straight when he walked Jurickson Profar with two outs in the fifth. Profar stole second base, but was left stranded when Verlander struck out Semien to end the inning.
Bassitt plunked Chirinos on the hand to start Houston's fifth before Altuve homered to straightaway center field with two outs to extend the lead to 4-1.
Mark Canha singled off Verlander with two outs in the sixth before he struck out Ramon Laureano to end the inning and his day.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa (fractured rib) will wrap up a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday and is expected to be activated from the 60-day injured list on Friday.
Athletics: LHP Brett Anderson (9-5, 3.82 ERA) will start for Oakland in the opener of a four-game series against Texas on Thursday night. Anderson is 2-0 with a 2.36 ERA in his past four starts.
Astros: Houston is off on Thursday before opening a three-game interleague series at St. Louis on Friday night. Jose Urquidy (1-0, 5.54) will start in the opener after allowing two hits and one run in seven innings for his first major league win on Saturday against Texas.
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