OAKLAND -- George Springer drilled the second pitch of the game thrown by A's starter Brett Anderson on Monday night and shot it inside the third-base line for a leadoff double. The fun was only getting started.Springer spearheaded the Astros' biggest offensive outburst of the season, tying a franchise record
OAKLAND -- George Springer drilled the second pitch of the game thrown by A's starter Brett Anderson on Monday night and shot it inside the third-base line for a leadoff double. The fun was only getting started.
Springer spearheaded the Astros' biggest offensive outburst of the season, tying a franchise record by going 6-for-6, including a three-run homer, to back a strong outing from starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel and send Houston to a 16-2 win over the A's at Oakland Coliseum.
"I don't even really know how to explain it," said Springer, who secured the ball in which he got his sixth and final hit. "I'm happy to get six hits in a week, let alone six hits in a game. I'm pretty speechless to be honest with you."
• Players with at least 6 hits in 9-inning game
Springer, who's batting average jumped to .292 from .264, joined Hall of Famer Joe Morgan as the only Astros player to have six hits in a game. Morgan achieved his feat on July 8, 1965, in a 12-inning game, making Springer the only player in Astros history to get six hits in a nine-inning game.
"It was a remarkable night, just because, first off, you don't see that many at-bats, and then on top of that, that many hits in a lot of different ways and different parts of the ballpark," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "We always tell him it evens out because he hits the ball into some defenses, and tonight was a really good night for him."
Springer doubled and scored in the first inning, hit a three-run, 462-foot homer in the second and then singled in the fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth innings. It's the second six-hit game in the big leagues this season, joining Andrew McCutchen (April 7 vs. the Dodgers), though that came in 14 innings.
"No one should feel comfortable enough in there to get six hits, not if they're Tony Gwynn with Billy Hamilton's speed," Anderson said.
When Springer, sitting on five hits, came to the plate in the ninth inning, his teammates knew he was chasing history.
"[Carlos] Correa was making sure that I knew that I had to get six," Springer said. "He let me know about it. I don't really have any words to kind of explain it. I'm happy the offense got me the opportunity to even have six at-bats in the game. That means the team did something right tonight."
Keuchel (2-5) tied a season high by throwing eight innings, allowing one run, five hits and two walks while striking out four batters. He didn't allow a homer for the first time in six starts.
The Astros, who had scored four runs in their previous two games, got a bases-loaded single from Marwin Gonzalez in the first inning to score a pair, and Springer's eighth homer of the season scored three more for a 5-0 lead.
"That was great to let me relax and settle down," Keuchel said. "I haven't really had that chance the last handful of games, so that's always a bonus when you get to do that. I really established the zone. I had two walks, but overall I've been feeling really good."
Gonzalez added a homer in the fourth en route to tying his career high with five RBIs and threw out Chad Pinder at the plate to end the eighth on a relay from Springer.
Keuchel, who had received the lowest run support among Astros starters this year, saw the Astros set a season high in runs and hits (20). It's the first time the Astros reached 20 hits since April 9, 2013, at Seattle (22 hits).
"We pile up some nights like this and we can get on a roll a little bit," Hinch said. "It's a very deep lineup when we're swinging at strikes. Just an overall great offensive performance."
The 16 runs scored by the Astros were one shy of their total from the previous six games.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Springer's homer left the bat at 112.0 mph and went a projected 462 feet. That's his second-longest homer tracked by Statcast™, and the Astros' fourth-longest.
HE SAID IT
"It was fun to hit behind him and watch him hit from so close. Every time he got a hit, of course you're happy because he's a great guy and one of the best teammates. He plays hard. You really want him doing good. He's kind of like the energy of the team. If he goes, we all go. It's really good to hit with men on base. I got six at-bats today with him on base. That was crazy. There's nothing I can say. That was impressive." -- Jose Altuve, who went 2-for-6 hitting behind Springer and at one point bowed down to him in respect
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Astros successfully challenged a play at first base in the second inning. Correa was initially called out on a ground ball to the shortstop, but the replay clearly showed he beat the throw, giving him an infield single.
Right-hander Lance McCullers (4-1, 3.73 ERA) gets the start in Tuesday's 9:05 p.m. CT game against the A's at the Oakland Coliseum. Since giving up eight runs on April 11 at Minnesota, McCullers is 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA in his last four starts, throwing seven innings three times. Lefty Sean Manaea will start for Oakland.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.