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Gattis, Gurriel ignite Astros comeback

MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Not even a pair of long home runs by A's outfielder Khris Davis could spoil the night for Astros right-hander Charlie Morton.

Morton struck out a career-high 12 in seven innings without walking any batters, and Yuli Gurriel went 3-for-4 with a home run to send the Astros to their 10th consecutive win over the A's, 9-4, in Friday's series opener at Minute Maid Park.

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HOUSTON -- Not even a pair of long home runs by A's outfielder Khris Davis could spoil the night for Astros right-hander Charlie Morton.

Morton struck out a career-high 12 in seven innings without walking any batters, and Yuli Gurriel went 3-for-4 with a home run to send the Astros to their 10th consecutive win over the A's, 9-4, in Friday's series opener at Minute Maid Park.

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Video: OAK@HOU: Gurriel hammers a solo homer to left field

"He just got stronger and stronger and stronger as the game went along," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "As he built himself up, the velocity even came up a little bit. His conviction, his pitches got way better. His breaking ball got way better, this command. He went from not really having an idea of where his pitches were going to the best he's been as a regular-season Astro."

Video: OAK@HOU: Morton fans Decker for career-high 12th K

Morton is the first American League pitcher to have at least 12 strikeouts and no walks and give up four runs in a win since Justin Verlander on Sept. 29, 2009.

"It's much easier to pitch aggressively when you're in the game, and to be down right here out the game and to come back, that was huge," he said. More >>

Morton (2-2) allowed a three-run homer to Davis in the first, but the Astros scored three times in the bottom of the inning to tie the game, capped by an RBI double by Evan Gattis (3-for-4). Davis slugged his ninth homer in the third to put Oakland ahead, 4-3, but Morton didn't allow any further damage as the Astros chipped away against Jharel Cotton (2-3). More >>

Video: OAK@HOU: Gattis doubles in Beltran to tie the game

"We had three runs in the first inning and that should give us a little momentum," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "And then they scored and all of a sudden it's an even game again, and the momentum is back in their dugout."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Springer hustle: In his first game back in the lineup since suffering a hamstring injury running to first base nearly a week earlier, George Springer legged out a two-out infield single in the fourth inning that allowed Gattis to score from third and tie the game. A hustling Springer barely beat out the relay throw, and certainly showed his hamstring was completely healed.

"That toughness and that resiliency in that at-bat is big," Hinch said. "It tied the game and gave us a little bit of momentum. After having what we thought was going to be a big inning, we took what we could at the end. Those singular at-bats are always critical."

Video: OAK@HOU: Springer plates Gattis on an infield single

Lowrie boots one: Jed Lowrie's 75-game errorless streak came to an end in the fifth inning, and it proved to be very costly for the A's. Lowrie, the second baseman playing in shallow right field on a shift, let a grounder off the bat of Carlos Beltran roll under his glove, allowing a pair of unearned runs to score later in the inning that gave the Astros a 6-4 lead. That was his first error since May 4, 2016.

Video: OAK@HOU: Beltran reaches on error by Lowrie in 5th

ROBBED BY REDDICK

Astros right fielder Josh Reddick made the kind of catch against the A's he used to make while playing for them. Reddick tracked down a fly ball off the bat of Ryon Healy with two outs in the eighth and two men on base and caught it on the warning track just before he crashed head-first into the wall and tumbled backward. It was sweet redemption for Reddick, who couldn't catch a pair of fly balls in center in the first inning Wednesday in Cleveland following long runs and who dropped a fly ball in center on Thursday.

"It was huge, especially in that part of the game," Reddick said. "You save a couple of runs hopefully and it gives us a little momentum going into the bottom of the eighth. ... Any time you pick your team up, you always want to help. It felt good to be back in my normal position tonight."

Video: OAK@HOU: Reddick reaches over head for superb snag

QUOTABLE
"We're just going to keep coming at you, and we do that throughout the order," -- Hinch, whose team was 7-for-14 with runners in scoring position

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Twice Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt's mitt made contact with Reddick's bat for catcher's interference. Reddick became only the seventh player to reach base twice on catcher's interference in the same game: Ben Geraghty (1936), Pat Corrales (1965, twice), Dan Meyer (1977), Bob Stinson (1979), David Murphy (2010) and Jacoby Ellsbury (2015).

"Typically, I'm pretty far back," Vogt said. "Reddick has a pretty long swing when he's trying to go the other way. There's only two people that have ever gotten me and that's Jacoby Ellsbury and Josh Reddick. It's one of those freak things that I'm not real thrilled about."

Video: OAK@HOU: Reddick reaches twice on interference

REPLAY REVIEW
Melvin unsuccessfully challenged a call at second base in the fourth inning. Trevor Plouffe hit a single off the left field wall and called out trying to stretch it into a double, though Plouffe thought he had avoided Jose Altuve's tag. After review, it was ruled the out call stands.

Video: OAK@HOU: Aoki cuts down Plouffe and the call stands

WHAT'S NEXT
A's: Andrew Triggs, who is scheduled to make his fifth start of the season, is coming off an 11-1 loss to Seattle that snapped a career-best four-game win streak dating to last year. His previous two appearances against the Astros have been in relief.

Astros: Right-hander Joe Musgrove will start for the Astros in Saturday's 6:10 p.m. CT game against the A's at Minute Maid Park. He gave up four runs and five hits in the first inning Sunday at the Rays before firing five hitless innings, retiring 15 of the final 17 batters he faced.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Richard Dean is a contributor for MLB.com based in Houston.

Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros