Los Angeles – The A’s now have their backs to the wall, but they have been here before. After Oakland lost 5-2 to the Houston Astros today, they have no choice but to win Game 3 tomorrow. In the best-of-five series, the Astros are on win away from returning to their fourth straight American League Conference Series.
In another slugfest, it was Houston that came out on top. George Springer was relentless with two home runs for the day and Carlos Correa add a two-run shot of his own. While both Khris Davis and Chad Pinder went deep, Oakland’s offense couldn’t keep the hits coming and struggled to come from behind.
“We just have to win tomorrow,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We put all our efforts into tomorrow. And just think about tomorrow. Anything further than that is a distraction. All we have to do is win a game. Hopefully that’s tomorrow.”
Oakland has dropped the first two games of this series and have started a postseason series 0-2 seven times in Athletics history, most recent in the 2012 ALDS. Oakland has never come back to win the series after losing the first two games and have been swept five times. But, they are deemed the “comeback” team during the regular season so they know what it takes.
“We knew coming in this would be a dogfight,” said Pinder. “They have a great talent, they’re not going to just roll over. We’ve got to find a way to pull ourselves out of this. One big hit, one big inning. We have to find it somehow within us to do that.”
Davis homered in the second to get the A’s going early. But Sean Manaea allowed a single to Josh Reddick and Springer followed with a homer to left field to make it a 2-1 game. Correa added a RBI single in the fourth while Pinder made it interesting bottom of the frame with a solo shot, putting Oakland down by 1.
Davis hit his second home run of the ALDS, his third of the postseason and the fourth of his postseason career. Manaea on the other hand, lasted only 4.1 innings, marking the fourth time in five postseason games, that he logged fewer than five frames. Manaea gave up five hits, four runs, one walk, two homers and walked one.
“It’s my job to go out there and pitch and I didn’t do that today,” said Manaea. “It sucks, but I know this team will figure this thing out and turn it around.”
Manaea was replaced by Yusmeiro Petit after giving up a home run to Martin Maldonado. Springer followed with his second home run of the game to extend their lead 5-2. He recorded his second two-run homer game of his post-season career and now has 17 career postseason home runs, which are the most in Astros history and tied for the seventh most in Major League history.
The A’s have scored six of their seven runs this series on home runs (four solo, one two-run). Tomorrow Oakland’s offense will have to come alive in order to compete with the way Houston has played. The A’s will go with Jesus Luzardo on the mound for Game 3.