HOUSTON (AP) — Chad Pinder hit a three-run homer and Khris Davis added three RBIs as the Oakland Athletics jumped on Lance McCullers Jr. early and cruised to an 8-3 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.
Davis, who extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games, put the A’s up 2-0 with a double in a three-run first. Pinder made it 6-0 when he connected off McCullers (10-4) for his ninth homer in the fourth.
Oakland starter Chris Bassitt (2-3) yielded five hits and three runs in five innings for his second straight win after losing his first three decisions.
Yuli Gurriel drove in two runs and Tyler White hit a solo homer that cut the deficit to 6-3 in the fifth, but the AL West-leading Astros lost for the second time in three games.
McCullers allowed four hits and six runs while walking five in four-plus innings for his first loss since May 26. It came after a stellar outing last time out, when he whiffed a career-high 12 while permitting just three hits and a run in seven innings of an 11-4 win over the White Sox.
Things went wrong for him quickly when he walked two batters with one out in the first. The A’s took a 2-0 lead when both runners scored on the double by Davis. A single by Stephen Piscotty sent Davis to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Chapman.
McCullers plunked Chapman to start the fourth before walking Mark Canha. Oakland pushed the lead to 6-0 on the homer by Pinder to left field.
Bassitt retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, and the Astros didn’t get a hit until Alex Bregman’s single with nobody out in the fourth. Jose Altuve singled before Gurriel’s two-run single cut the margin to 6-2.
White got the Astros to 6-3 when he hit his first homer this season in the fifth.
Emilio Pagan allowed one hit in two scoreless innings after Bassitt’s exit.
Marcus Semien doubled with one out in the sixth and scored on a two-out triple by Davis to push the lead to 7-3. Oakland made it 8-3 on an RBI single by Josh Phegley in the ninth.
Astros: INF Marwin Gonzalez sat out after taking a cleat to the left wrist Tuesday night. He is day-to-day. … SS Carlos Correa (back stiffness) ramped up his activity and said he’s feeling good and believes he is inching closer to a return.
Athletics: Piscotty exited in the middle of the fifth inning after being hit by a pitch on the left wrist in the top of the inning. The team said his wrist was bruised.
Oakland RHP Trevor Cahill (1-2, 2.77 ERA) will come off the disabled list to start against Charlie Morton (11-2, 2.83) in the series finale Thursday. Cahill has struggled on the road this season, going 0-2 with a 5.66 ERA. Morton has won four of his last five starts.
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