Athletics continue to slide as Javier, Astros complete sweep

May 17, 2024, 7:03 AM | Updated: 7:03 am

HOUSTON, TEXAS - MAY 16: Kyle Tucker #30 of the Houston Astros slides safely into home plate to sco...

(Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

(Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Cristian Javier twirled six shutout innings in a bounce-back performance while Joey Loperfido clubbed his first career home run as the Houston Astros completed a four-game sweep of the visiting Oakland Athletics with an 8-1 victory on Thursday.

Javier (3-1), who was shelled for seven runs in 1 1/3 innings by the Detroit Tigers in his previous outing, breezed through his second start following his return from the injured list. He allowed only three baserunners and struck out a season-high eight batters, recording at least one strikeout in every frame excluding the sixth.

Javier struck out five of the first eight batters he faced before surrendering a two-out single to Oakland shortstop and nine-hole hitter Max Schuemann in the top of the third inning. Javier issued a two-out walk to Athletics first baseman Tyler Soderstrom in the fourth but sandwiched that free pass with strikeouts of Brent Rooker and Kyle McCann, the latter to cap that frame.

More on Astros vs. Athletics

When Oakland third baseman Abraham Toro doubled with one out in the sixth, it marked just the second fly ball to the outfield surrendered by Javier. Astros third baseman Alex Bregman produced a dazzling defensive play to retire Rooker and strand Toro at third to close the inning.

After enduring the shortest start of his career in Detroit, Javier threw 80 pitches, 52 for strikes, in stifling the Athletics, who were swept in a four-game set for the first time since last May. Oakland totaled four runs in the series and has dropped five consecutive games, while the Astros have won seven of eight.

The Astros stranded two runners in the first and second innings but broke through against Athletics rookie right-hander Joey Estes (1-1) with a six-run third. The bottom third of the Houston order delivered in succession, with Yainer Diaz producing a bases-clearing double before Jake Meyers followed with an RBI double that scored Diaz and upped the lead to 4-0.

Loperfido followed with a 354-foot line drive homer to right field that scored Meyers and extended the lead to 6-0. The Astros tacked on a pair of runs in the fourth when Jeremy Pena plated Kyle Tucker with a sacrifice fly to right and Bregman, whose double pushed Tucker to third, scored when Oakland reliever Hogan Harris balked after Bregman advanced on the sacrifice fly.

Estes allowed eight runs on eight hits and four walks with four strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings.

–Field Level Media

Upcoming schedule for the Oakland Athletics

  • Friday, May 17th-Sunday, May 19th – @ Kansas City Royals
  • Tuesday, May 21st-Thursday, May 23rd – vs. Colorado Rockies
  • Friday, May 24th-Sunday, May 26th – vs. Houston Astros
  • Tuesday, May 28th-Thursday, May 30th – @ Tampa Bay Rays
  • Friday, May 31st-Sunday, June 2nd – @ Atlanta Braves

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