HOUSTON (AP) — Ramón Laureano hit a two-run homer, rookie Seth Brown connected for his first big league home run and the Oakland Athletics beat the Houston Astros 7-3 on Saturday to win the series.
The Astros won the opener 6-2 on Thursday night to give them five straight victories over the A’s after a four-game sweep to start the season.
But Oakland’s offense, which sputtered as the A’s limped to a 1-7 start, got going on Friday night in a 6-2 win powered by three homers and kept it going in the series finale by piling up a season-high 11 hits. The A’s and Astros are scheduled off Sunday.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin was thrilled to see his team rebound after its terrible start this year against the Astros.
“It was huge,” Melvin said. “Not only did we lose that series, every game we got blown out and that’s a tough way to start the season. It was important for us to gain some confidence against them. To be able to respond after that and losing (Thursday) was big for us.”
There were two outs in the fifth when the A’s got a single from Mark Canha. Laureano followed with his drive, which bounced off the train tracks above left field, to push the lead to 4-0.
The bases were loaded with two outs in the seventh when Jed Lowrie knocked a single into shallow center field to stretch Oakland’s advantage to 6-0.
Brown sent a homer into the second deck in the eighth inning to give the Athletics five home runs in the last two games after they managed just three in their first eight.
Five of Oakland’s runs on Saturday came with two outs.
“We are a clutch team and we know it,” Laureano said. “We don’t shy away from it. We have a pretty good professional lineup so I feel good about it.”
Saturday’s victory was helped by a strong start from Frankie Montas…