The Oakland A’s sent a very distinct message to the Houston Astros in taking four of the five games in their series.
As Alex Bregman‘s line drive came to rest in Ramon Laureano‘s glove on Thursday, the Oakland A’s had sent a message to the Houston Astros. They had taken four out of the five games in the series, firmly seizing command of the American League West.
With 18 games left on the A’s schedule, they now hold a 6.5 game lead on the Astros. Meanwhile, the Astros have fallen below .500, sitting at 22-23 heading into Friday’s action. Not only are the Astros that far behind the A’s, but they are also in danger of being passed by the Mariners for the automatic second playoff berth from the AL West.
This series has also sent a message to the Astros, and the rest of baseball as well. Houston’s reign over the division is over. It is now the A’s time, as they have seemingly slain the giant.
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It has also been a message of revenge. Laureano had infamously been drilled by the Astros pitchers a month ago, fueling his ire. That anger got the best of him when hitting coach Alex Cintron began chirping at him, leading to Laureano charging the dugout. But on Wednesday, his base hit drove in the winning run.
For Sean Manaea, it was a continuation of what has been a strong stretch. He had struggled to start the season, but had begun getting back on track. That continued on Thursday as he fired seven shutout innings. Chris Bassitt and Jesus Luzardo also pitched seven innings this week, the first time an A’s pitcher had lasted that long since early August.
And it should only get better. The A’s should get Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman back in the relatively near future. While they had a rough stretch, the A’s have caught fire once again, and are charging back for the top overall seed in the AL.
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The Oakland A’s have sent a message to the Houston Astros. A new day has dawned for the American League West.