OAKLAND -- Evan Gattis rattled off a few names of some of the greatest hitters in Astros history and then tried to ponder his place among them in terms of his amazing two-game performance.The red-hot Gattis walloped two home runs and became the first player in club history to drive
OAKLAND -- Evan Gattis rattled off a few names of some of the greatest hitters in Astros history and then tried to ponder his place among them in terms of his amazing two-game performance.
The red-hot Gattis walloped two home runs and became the first player in club history to drive in five runs in consecutive games to lead the Astros to their seventh win in a row, 13-5, over the A's on Wednesday night at Oakland Coliseum.
"I found out I was the first Astro, which is incredible, with all the incredible players that have played here -- [Jeff] Bagwell, [Craig] Biggio, [Lance] Berkman," Gattis said. "There's a lot of good players, so it's an honor."
Gattis hit a three-run homer to highlight a seven-run second inning that put the Astros ahead, 10-0, and then added a solo homer in the seventh. He tied a club record with 10 RBIs in a two-game span, giving him 25 RBIs in his last 15 games.
"It was fun to watch our guys respond to just his continued damaging at-bats," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "They're taking his helmet off and rubbing it all over themselves, and they're trying to get as close to him as they can. They want whatever he's eating. Whatever he's doing during the games, they're following suit. It's fun to see. He's doing a ton of damage."
Gattis, who also drove in five runs on Tuesday, is hitting .300 with a .744 slugging percentage, 12 homers and a Major League-leading 34 RBIs in 26 games since May 12. He's pulled even with Carlos Correa for the team lead in RBIs with 42, which was unimaginable just a week ago.
"You're about to go hit a ball with a stick, and you're about to get out 70 percent of the time," Gattis said. "You've got to enjoy the good stuff if you're going to get mad about the negatives in the game."
Gattis has 50 RBIs in 53 career games against Oakland.
"He's locked in right now," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We just make too many mistakes against him. For the most part, he's a pull hitter, and that's where most of his damage is, to left field. Granted, he's a good hitter. He's been around a while for a reason, but we just make too many mistakes in the middle of the plate for him to pull."
Astros starter Gerrit Cole (8-1) coasted with the benefit of a huge lead and won his sixth consecutive decision, allowing four runs on six hits, including two homers, in six innings.
"Some undesirable results a couple of times," Cole said. "Fastball command wasn't poor, but it wasn't as sharp."
The first three batters of the game reached against A's starter Paul Blackburn (1-1), and all three scored, including a pair on a bases-loaded single by Yuli Gurriel.
The Astros sent 10 batters to the plate in the second, taking a 5-0 lead on a Correa two-run triple. Gurriel's second RBI single scored Correa for a 6-0 lead, and Gattis followed a Josh Reddick single with a three-run blast. Marwin Gonzalez homered five pitches later to push the lead to 10-0.
"The first two innings were incredible, to get 10 runs and to really control the game from the very beginning of it is awesome," Hinch said. "It's what we want to do every night. It's hard to put up those kinds of runs in that bulk, but when you have great at-bats the first time through, we can do a lot of damage, obviously."
Not even a pair of home runs from Oakland's Khris Davis and a three-run shot from Stephen Piscotty could prevent the A's from pitching outfielder Jake Smolinski, who gave up a two-run homer to Jake Marisnick in the ninth.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Marisnick does it all: Marisnick made a tremendous catch in center field to rob Chad Pinder of a home run, then doubled off Matt Olson at first base to end the eighth. Pinder crushed a pitch from reliever Reymin Guduan that had a 108.4-mph exit velocity and went 401 feet to center, only to watch Marisnick leap and pull it back. Marisnick threw to second baseman Tony Kemp, who threw out Olson at first.
Marisnick homered the next half-inning.
"It's one of his calling cards and one of the main reasons why he's a really good player," Hinch said. "He can make spectacular plays any time he's on the field. Any time you take runs off the board and you help a very young pitcher get through an inning in his first time back in the big leagues, great plays are what highlights are for. He's going to see himself on TV tonight, and he's going to enjoy contributing."
Astros outfielder George Springer has hit safely in all eight games against the A's this season and is hitting .432 against Oakland this year.
HE SAID IT
"He's white hot -- take the pun from his name, the White Bear. The guy's quiet at the dish, quiet takes on fastballs, on offspeed. Just great approach right now. He's obviously put the team on his back a little bit and taking the hitter of the game." -- Cole, on Gattis' incredible stretch
The Astros go for their eighth win in a row and a three-game sweep in Thursday's 2:35 p.m. CT series finale against the A's at Oakland Coliseum, as they send Justin Verlander (8-2, 1.45 ERA) to the mound to face Frankie Montas (3-0, 1.25 ERA). Verlander leads the Majors in ERA, WHIP (0.76), opponent OPS (.475) and opponent batting average (.157).
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.