The luck of the A’s came to an end Thursday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. The red-hot Houston Astros jumped all over starter Frankie Montas, and the bullpen couldn’t limit the damage as Oakland fell by a final of 11-6.
Ramon Laureano had a tremendous game at the plate and the A’s had chances throughout the game, but they couldn’t keep the Astros off the basepaths.
Michael Brantley crushed a pair of homers for Houston and Carlos Correa continued his incredible play as the Astros moved on to the American League Championship Series.
Here are three things to know as the A’s lose the series and are thereby eliminated from the playoffs.
It didn’t matter who manager Bob Melvin turned to as his starter in the series, it didn’t work out. In the closeout game, it was Montas who got the call and he lasted all of 3.2 innings. Despite the short burn, he still managed to give up seven hits and five earned runs.
For the series, the quartet of Montas, Chris Bassitt, Sean Manaea and Jesus Luzardo yielded a combined 16 runs on 26 hits, including eight home runs in just 16.1 innings. The bullpen wasn’t great for Oakland either, but Melvin didn’t have a single starter make it through the fifth inning.
Ramon Laureano gave an inspired speech on Wednesday that fired up his team and helped them overcome a 3-run deficit. On Thursday, Laureano let his bat do all of the talking.
Oakland’s center fielder worked a full count in the second inning against Astros starter Zack Greinke and then he ripped the cover off the ball for a 3-run homer to open the scoring.
It was a no-doubter for Laureano. According to Statcast, the ball jumped off his bat, traveling at 110.9 miles per hour and landing 449 feet away from home plate.
Laureano wasn’t done. He hit a solo shot in the fifth off Greinke and finished the day 2-for-4 with four runs batted in, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Plenty of Astros hitters put up numbers in the series, but shortstop Carlos Correa stood out. He made plenty of plays in the field, but he did massive damage with the bat.
For the four game series, Correa posted a slash line of .500/.588/1.754. He hit three home runs and drove in an incredible 11 RBI. A’s pitchers couldn’t get him out, especially in key situations.