After an odd 2020 season, the Oakland A’s welcomed 10,436 fans to the Oakland Coliseum for an Opening Day matchup against the rival Houston Astros.
Following a troubling 2019-20 offseason with the sign stealing scandal, the Astros faced fans on the road for the first time since Jose Altuve and others were publicly outed by a Major League Baseball investigation. Altuve was booed during the pre-game lineup introductions, and Carlos Correa received an indirect standing ovation after being hit by a Chris Bassitt pitch in the fourth inning. Needless to say, the Oakland faithful enjoyed giving Houston all they had on Thursday night.
Oakland A’s disappoint in Opening Day loss
With the jeering out of the way, the A’s got down to business. Bassitt sailed through the first three innings, facing only the minimum in the first third of the game. Houston starter Zack Greinke matched Bassitt’s hot start, facing only 10 batters in his first three innings and even reaching 91 MPH on the radar gun a few times.
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Once Bassitt flew through the first few frames, the wheels fell off quickly for Oakland’s ace. Bassitt escaped a two on, zero out situation in the fourth inning with only one run allowed, but Yordan Alvarez struck the final blow to Bassitt’s first outing of the year with a two-run double to left.
Greinke worked an efficient, scoreless six innings for an impressive first outing of the 2021 campaign. Backed by additional offense from Alex Bregman, Michael Brantley and Kyle Tucker, Greinke’s three-run lead turned into an 8-1 routing by the time Ryne Stanek shut the door in the bottom of the ninth.
Brantley’s solo home run in the eighth inning was his third straight on Opening Day.
Matt Champan played his first regular season game since suffering a season ending hip injury last season. Chapman’s sacrifice fly in the seventh inning was the sole run driven in for Oakland in a poor first showing.
Jesus Luzardo will take the mound for the Oakland A’s in the second game of a four game series. The young lefty will face off against Houston’s Christian Javier. The evening game will start at 6:40 PM local time, and the Athletics will once again welcome a “sold out” 10,436 fans to the Coliseum.