Houston 10, Oakland 4
When: 7:10 PM ET, Saturday, October 2, 2021
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
Shane Livensparger, 1B -
Mike Muchlinski, 2B -
Todd Tichenor, 3B -
Yordan Alvarez slugged his club-leading 33rd home run but it was a two-run triple by Michael Brantley that helped the Houston Astros secure a 10-4 win over the visiting Oakland Athletics on Saturday.
The Astros clinched home-field advantage for their American League Division Series matchup with the Chicago White Sox with the victory. Game 1 is scheduled for Thursday at Minute Maid Park.
Brantley lined his third triple of the season to the right-center field gap in the bottom of the sixth inning, driving home Jake Meyers and Jose Altuve and extending the Houston lead to 8-3. The Astros maintained a tenuous grasp on their three-run advantage over the two previous innings before Brantley provided added cushion with his hit off Oakland right-hander James Kaprielian.
Trailing 6-3 with a run across in the fifth, Oakland loaded the bases with two outs against Astros reliever Phil Maton. Starling Marte reached on an error by first baseman Yuli Gurriel before Matt Olson (single) and Chad Pinder (walk) allowed Seth Brown to come to the plate as the go-ahead run. But Maton (6-0) induced an inning-ending groundout.
Oakland threatened again an inning later when Matt Chapman and Pete Kozma worked walks against Ryne Stanek. Tony Kemp, 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI over his first three plate appearances, followed by driving a first-pitch fastball deep to right field that Kyle Tucker snagged with a leaping catch over the wall.
The Astros capitalized after dodging those bullets, first with the Brantley triple and then with a two-run home run from Tucker in the seventh, his 29th.
Jason Castro clubbed his eighth home run for a 4-2 lead in the second. Gurriel smacked his 15th home run leading off the third to chase Oakland starter Paul Blackburn (1-4).
The Athletics spotted Blackburn a 2-0 lead in the first when Marte plated Kemp with a triple to left-center and scored when Pinder doubled two batters later off Astros right-hander Jake Odorizzi.
Alvarez smashed a three-run homer in the bottom of that frame, and the Athletics followed with three baserunning outs in the third to undermine potential rallies against Odorizzi.
Kemp notched an RBI single in the eighth for his first four-hit game. Altuve completed his 32nd four-hit game with a single in the eighth.
--Field Level Media
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