Corey Julks had his second three-RBI game of the week, Alex Bregman contributed an RBI single to a four-run third inning, and the Houston Astros opened a three-game road series against the Oakland Athletics with a 5-2 victory Friday night.
Hunter Brown (5-1) struck out a career-high 10 in his second consecutive dominant performance against the A's, helping Houston improve to 4-0 against Oakland this season.
Julks gave the Astros a lead they never relinquished with an RBI single in the second, scoring Bregman, who had led off the inning against A's starter James Kaprielian (0-5) with a single.
Returning from an illness, Jose Altuve ignited the decisive third-inning uprising with a double. He scored Bregman's hit.
A passed ball on A's catcher Carlos Perez allowed Yordan Alvarez to dash home and make it 3-0, before Julks completed his big night with a two-run single that plated Bregman and Kyle Tucker.
The three RBIs equaled the season-best total for rookie Julks. He also did it on April 17 against the Toronto Blue Jays and on Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Kaprielian was pulled after five innings, charged with five runs (four earned) on eight hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Brown, who limited the A's to one earned run with a then-career-best nine strikeouts in a 3-2 home win last Saturday, was equally effective in the rematch, allowing two runs and four hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out a career-best 10.
The two runs Brown gave up in the seventh were the result of a home run by Seth Brown, his third of the season. Brent Rooker hit a leadoff single then scored on the homer.
Hunter Brown finished the inning, then watched Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly throw three outs apiece of shutout ball to help the Astros snap a two-game losing streak. Pressly earned his ninth save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Julks, Bregman, Altuve and Tucker had two hits apiece for the Astros, who out-hit the hosts 9-5. Bregman scored twice.
Oakland's loss was its ninth straight.
--Field Level Media