Mon, 28 Sep 2020

Montas, Semien propel Athletics to eighth straight win

Field Level Media
09 Aug 2020, 09:19 GMT+10

Frankie Montas allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings and Marcus Semien recorded a piece of Oakland Athletics' history with a leadoff home run Saturday afternoon in a 3-1 win over the Houston Astros.

The victory was the eighth in a row for the streaking Athletics.

Montas (2-1) did most of the heavy lifting, allowing just a second-inning double and fifth-inning single by Yuri Gurriel. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

Semien gave his young pitcher an immediate cushion when he smacked Framber Valdez's sixth pitch over the fence in left field for a 1-0 lead.

After hitting his first homer of the year, Semien thus became the first player in Oakland history to deliver a walk-off hit one game and then lead off the next with a homer.

The All-Star shortstop ended Friday's 3-2 win in 13 innings with a two-out RBI single.

Matt Chapman drove in Oakland's other two runs Saturday with a groundout in the sixth inning and solo homer in the eighth.

The groundout plated Semien, who had singled to open the sixth. He promptly stole second, got up and advanced another 90 feet when catcher Dustin Garneau's throw went into center field.

The home run, which came off Astros reliever Nivaldo Rodriguez, was his third of the season.

Valdez (0-2) was pulled after seven effective innings, having allowed just two runs (one earned) on seven hits. He walked one and struck out nine in his first career start against Oakland.

Athletics reliever Jake Diekman bridged the gap to Liam Hendriks, who made things interesting in the ninth. He allowed a leadoff double to Kyle Tucker and one-out RBI single to Alex Bregman.

But facing the tying run at the plate, Hendriks wrapped up his fifth save by striking out Michael Brantley and getting Gurriel to ground out.

Gurriel finished with two hits, including a double, for an Astros club that has lost four in a row.

Semien, Chapman and Mark Canha each had two hits for Oakland, which out-hit Houston 9-5.

--Field Level Media

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