OAKLAND (AP) — Khris Davis is in a far different role these days for the Oakland Athletics and still delivered in a key moment.
Davis homered and hit an RBI double in a rare start facing previously unbeaten Zack Greinke, and the A’s sent the Houston Astros to their sixth straight loss with a 4-2 win Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader.
Ash from nearby wildfires fell inside the Coliseum as the A’s stretched their AL West lead over second-place Houston to 5 1/2 games.
Robbie Grossman hit a go-ahead double in the sixth and Ramón Laureano added an RBI single for Oakland.
The A’s played as the visiting team in a makeup of a postponement from Aug. 30 after pitcher Daniel Mengden’s positive coronavirus test result. Oakland missed four games in all, including three in Seattle that forced the club to play three doubleheaders in a seven-day span that began Tuesday.
Davis, the major league homer leader in 2018, snapped an 0-for-8 stretch playing for the first time since Aug. 26 at Texas. He began the day 3 for 8 lifetime against Greinke with a home run and a double.
“For a guy that’s a star like he is to not get the type of playing time, you would think he’d put some pressure on you,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “But he doesn’t. He does anything but. He’s as team-oriented of a guy that we have here.”
Greinke (3-1) allowed four runs and seven hits over six innings. He struck out six.
He seems unconcerned about the Astros’ long skid.
“It doesn’t matter, everyone makes the playoffs, so we’ll be all right still,” Greinke said. “If we don’t make the playoffs then we didn’t deserve to make the playoffs. We’re still looking good in that case.”
A’s opening day starter Frankie Montas (3-3), 0-2 over his previous three outings, gave up two runs on six hits in five innings. Liam Hendriks finished for his 11th save.
Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer in the fifth for Houston. The Astros’ losing streak is their longest since dropping seven straight in June 2019.
“Everything’s going the opposition’s way right now,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s not going to last forever it just seems like it.”
ODD TRIP HOME
Baker, who has homes in Northern California, said it was “very strange” traveling to Oakland amid the wildfires.
“I’ve been keeping up with it on TV and every time I look up there’s another fire,” Baker said. “Boy, the world’s in bad shape right now. I came off the plane here the first night and you could smell it, smell it in the air and your eyes are burning. … It looks like Mother Nature’s mad at us, the way we’re living, or not living, or whatever. I’m just hoping that this all changes here very quickly.”
Astros: Houston activated 3B Alex Bregman from the 10-day injured list, making him the 29th player for the doubleheader. He wasn’t in the Game 2 lineup. Bregman batted second in the first game to try to get him as many at-bats as possible “to find his stroke.” He went 0 for 3, striking out twice with a walk. Bregman had been sidelined since Aug. 19 with a strained right hamstring he hurt that day at Colorado. … 2B Jose Altuve (sprained right knee) did some running as he resumed baseball activity. “He went out and ran today and he looked pretty good, he looked real good actually,” Baker said. … RHP Lance McCullers Jr., on the IL since Sunday with neck nerve irritation, underwent a procedure in Houston that alleviated much of the discomfort.
Athletics: SS Marcus Semien returned from a four-game absence with a left side injury. Melvin will determine his lineup each day based on how Semien feels. … RF Stephen Piscotty was a late scratch for the first game because of left wrist soreness. … 3B Matt Chapman hopes to do some baseball work Wednesday but doesn’t necessarily expect to return this series from right hip tendinitis that forced him out of Sunday’s series finale against San Diego. “We’re just kind of waiting it out and seeing if we can calm down that area,” Chapman said. “It’s something that had kind of been bugging me this whole season. It didn’t feel like I had my legs under me. … Once I started playing defense and I was having to think about every step I took, it’s hard enough to go out there and compete when you have a clear mind.”
The A’s recalled RHP James Kaprielian from their Sacramento alternate site to be the 29th player for the doubleheader.
New A’s lefty Mike Minor (0-5) was set to make his first Oakland start in the second game opposite RHP Chase De Jong (0-0, 27.00 ERA).
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