The A’s completed a three-game sweep against the Astros Sunday afternoon to improve their record on the season to an AL-best 13-5, tying their best start since 1990.
A first inning two-run home run off the bat of Josh Donaldson would be all the run support that the A’s would need as Jesse Chavez recorded his first win of the young season in a 4-1 final.
Despite coming into Sunday with three no-decisions on the young season, Jesse Chavez managed to set a franchise record, becoming the first A’s pitcher on the Opening Day roster to allow one earned run or less in each of his first four starts while pitching six or more innings.
“I don’t look at that at all, I just look at trying to outlast their starter and give us the best chance to win,” said Chavez.
After getting out to a rocky start in which he allowed five base runners over the first three innings including numerous loud outs and a solo homer in the fourth, Chavez settled down to strike out five of his last eight batters faced.
“I was rushing a little early in the game, and I needed to slow things down and take it pitch by pitch,” said Chavez.
The bright spot in the A’s offensive arsenal on the afternoon was Donaldson, who added two doubles to his early home run and finished with three RBI on the day.
Oakland has dominated Houston, winning 15 of 19 games in 2013, and 23 of 28 overall, which is the best record by a Major League club against another club that have played each other 20 or more times.
One Athletic in particular that will be sad to see the Astros leave town is Josh Reddick, who pounded out seven hits during the three game series after compiling just four hits to start the season. He raised his batting average over .100 points and now owns a .204 mark.
The A’s will need to improve on their defensive play as a whole to continue their success. While many spectacular plays have been made to start the season, Oakland has also committed a league-high 20 errors, including at least one in each of the past nine games.
One area of the defense that Oakland did improve upon Sunday was behind the plate, as John Jaso threw out Jose Altuve attempting to steal third base in the first inning. After allowing 13 consecutive successful stolen bases, it was the first caught stealing of the year for the A’s.
Slugger Yoenis Cespedes left the game in the seventh inning with a bruised right heel, which has been a nagging injury the last few weeks. Bob Melvin said that he wouldn’t be surprised if Cespedes plays Monday.
Next up the A’s will welcome division rival Texas to O.co for a three game set. Dan Straily (1-1, 5.40) will take the mound opposed by Rangers ace Yu Darvish (1-0, 0.82) with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05.