Astros' Musgrove, relievers combine to 4-hit A's in 6-0 win
HOUSTON (AP) Joe Musgrove bounced back after two horrible outings, and the Houston Astros' offense did the rest Monday night.
Jose Altuve homered, Musgrove and three relievers combined on a four-hitter and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-0.
Musgrove (2-2) struck out seven, walked three and allowed three hits over 5 1/3 innings, and then Luke Gregerson, Pat Neshek and Brad Peacock closed things out.
Musgrove had allowed 13 runs over his last two starts.
''I have to be the guy who goes as hard as he can as long as he can,'' Musgrove said. ''The last couple outings I found myself trying to pace myself trying to get to the seventh. I did a lot of work this week making mechanical adjustments and told myself to go out there and give it everything you have as long as you can and let the bullpen take over from there.''
Musgrove retired 11 of the first 13 batters before Khris Davis singled with two outs in the fourth for the first hit against him.
''I thought he did a good job especially the fifth,'' Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. ''He came out really aggressive which is an adjustment for him to match quantity of strikes with quality. He wasn't going to leave anything in the tank and he was going to go as hard as he could as long as he could.''
Houston closed within two games of the second AL wild card with the win and Baltimore's loss.
A's starter Sean Manaea (5-9) left after 3 1/3 innings with a left rhomboid strain. Manaea fielded a comebacker from Yulieski Gurriel to start the fourth, then threw one pitch to Marwin Gonzalez before manager Bob Melvin and the trainer headed to the mound. The left-hander was replaced by Chris Smith.
Manaea said he was uncertain if he would miss his next start. He is listed as day-to-day.
''Just frustrating from where I'm at,'' Manaea said. ''Already been on the DL once and to me it just feels like I'm letting everyone down. I hate being hurt and just getting taken out early, especially with a close game like that just bothered me. It is what it is, I just have to make sure going forward I get everything done and try not to have this problem again.''
Altuve hit his second homer in two games to lead off the sixth and extend Houston's lead to 3-0. Alex Bregman hit a two-run single and Carlos Correa had an RBI single as part of a three-run seventh.
''We got extra opportunities in the second, obviously got the two runs on a couple errors and a couple walks but Altuve's homer obviously was a big tack-on run,'' Hinch said. ''The three-run inning where Bregman breaks it open is what good offenses do when you get the opportunity.''
Manaea allowed two unearned runs and one hit with four strikeouts.
Marcus Semien had two of Oakland's hits.
Athletics: INF Billy Butler was reinstated from the seven-day concussion list. To make room on the roster, INF Arismendy Alcantara was optioned to Class A Stockton. ... LHP Sean Doolittle (left shoulder strain) will continue a rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Nashville. ... RHP Henderson Alvarez (right shoulder surgery) is set to start a rehab assignment Tuesday in Stockton. ... RHP Jesse Hahn (right shoulder strain) will pitch Wednesday for Nashville.
Astros: OF Colby Rasmus (cyst in right ear) was scheduled to work in the outfield, do some baserunning and also take batting practice, Hinch said, adding they will determine afterward whether to activate Rasmus on Tuesday or Wednesday or wait until the Texas series over the weekend. ''We've toyed with the idea of whether he needs a rehab assignment,'' Hinch said. ''He's one of our more veteran players, and maybe he will jump right back into competition.'' ... RHP Lance McCullers (mid right elbow strain) played catch.
Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman (10-8, 3.97) starts Tuesday in the second of the three-game series with the Astros. Graveman is 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA over his last four starts.
Astros: RHP Collin McHugh (8-10, 5.01) will take the mound Tuesday, looking for his second straight win after snapping a four-game losing streak Wednesday in Pittsburgh.