The Oakland Athletics’ series against the Mariners this past weekend ended on a bitter note. The guys in green and gold needed a big comeback against the Houston Astros to help everyone forget two very disappointing extra-innings losses. Well once again the A’s prove they have short-term memories when it comes to letting those tough losses get the best of them.
Oakland started the night in Houston ready to dominate right off the bat. They took advantage of defensive errors with timely hitting and Scott Kazmir pitched another gem, striking out eight in six innings and giving up only one run, his first home run of the year, to Jose Altuve. But that home run had nothing on the three big ones the A’s blasted, all firsts for new Athletics who we’ve been eagerly waiting to see go yard.
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Of all the newcomers to Oakland, Brett Lawrie undoubtedly had the biggest cleats to fill. In the offseason much was written and discussed about his potential, if he can stay healthy for the season. Besides one unfortunate game, Lawrie is already proving to be a huge contributor to the Athletics’ roster, both defensively and with the bat. Monday night fans were able to see just how much power Lawrie has to offer as he shot a bullet off the center field wall for a home run. His energy is impossible to ignore as A’s broadcasters Ray Fosse and Glen Kuiper joked, and teammate Marcus Semien remarked on his positive effect on the team.
Semien was another new guy to make a big statement with the bat against Houston on Monday. As Oakland’s everyday shortstop he was quick to make his mark during Spring Training and he hasn’t disappointed so far in the regular season. His power was on display as his solo blast pegged a left field display board in Minute Maid Park.
The biggest smash of the night would come off the bat of one of Oakland’s major acquisitions of the offseason, designated hitter, Billy Butler. Butler has been hitting clean-up in the almost totally new lineup and proved why he deserves that spot. He crushed a three-run homerun out of the park, literally. A’s fans are hoping last year’s numbers were a blip and Billy will be back to his power numbers in 2015. So far, his consistency has been key as he’s hit safely in all eight games and is batting .387 with a team-high 12 hits.
If these three welcomed additions to the Athletics continue to produce as they have so far, the sky is truly the limit for this team.