Houston Astros

A's start five-game series on right foot, shutout Astros in win

The Astros flew into Oakland just 3.5 games back, in stabbing distance of the A’s long-held first place spot atop the American League West.

He gave up a good dose of hard contact — and the Astros managed seven hits — but Bassitt struck out four batters with no walks.

His role was minimized a bit with the addition of left-handed second baseman Tommy La Stella, who has the type of strikeout and contact rate that guarantees him a permanent spot in the lineup.

With catching duties taking priority over batting practices, the A’s catchers were bound to get off to a slower start to this season offensively.

When Machín’s line drive was deemed foul, but appeared to lift chalk, Melvin decided he’d be better off sitting on his hands.

Kyle Tucker hit a first pitch fastball ball 102 mph that looked like a home run, but Ramón Laureano caught it.

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