OAKLAND -- The Astros rode the long ball to their seventh consecutive victory at the Coliseum, getting homers from Jake Marisnick, George Springer and Derek Fisher in a 4-1 series-opening win behind an impressive Brad Peacock on Monday evening.Marisnick's fifth-inning, two-run blast on a 2-2 fastball spoiled an otherwise strong
OAKLAND -- The Astros rode the long ball to their seventh consecutive victory at the Coliseum, getting homers from Jake Marisnick, George Springer and Derek Fisher in a 4-1 series-opening win behind an impressive Brad Peacock on Monday evening.
Marisnick's fifth-inning, two-run blast on a 2-2 fastball spoiled an otherwise strong effort from A's rookie Daniel Gossett. Making just his second big league start, Gossett was denied his first win despite holding baseball's best team to six hits, including a pair of doubles by catcher Evan Gattis, across 6 2/3 innings.
"I wanted it off the plate, and I kind of overthrew it just a touch and it just ran back over the middle," Gossett said. "That's the one pitch. That was the one I missed my spot, and they made me pay for it. It was down, but it was still a very good pitch to hit in that count."
After the A's cut into Houston's lead in the sixth, Springer lended some breathing room with his 20th home run, a leadoff shot opposite right-hander John Axford in the seventh. Fisher added a solo shot off righty Joshua Smith in the ninth. Peacock earned the win with 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball, striking out eight.
"Peacock had a really good breaking ball tonight, and he could throw it whenever he wanted to," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "He had plenty of fastball as well. Really only had one inning where he ran into a little bit of traffic and trouble, and Will [Harris] came in and bailed him out. Excellent, excellent start by him."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Dynamic duo: With one out in the sixth inning and runners stationed on first and second, A's designated hitter Jed Lowrie roped a double to right-center field. Off the bat, it appeared likely that both runs would score to tie the game, but only one made it in. An incredible relay-throw effort from right fielder Springer and shortstop Carlos Correa to Gattis cut down Chad Pinder at the plate, allowing Houston to maintain the lead, 2-1.
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"At that point in time, you got to send him and take a chance," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We know Correa has a good arm, but we weren't doing a whole lot, and when you get an opportunity to potentially tie the game you got to send him."
What a relief: The A's still had an opportunity to keep their sixth-inning rally alive following the play at the plate, with Peacock issuing a walk to his next batter, Khris Davis, to put runners at first and second with two outs. But right-hander Harris emerged from the bullpen and induced an inning-ending grounder from Yonder Alonso, putting the threat to rest. Harris returned for the seventh and worked around a two-out walk by striking out the side.
"Springer did a great job hustling over for that thing and making a good throw to Carlos. And he gunned him out at the plate. That was a huge play there, and they did a great job." -- Peacock, on the Springer-Correa-Gattis relay
After the game, Hinch announced that Fisher was being optioned to Triple-A Fresno to make space for Josh Reddick, who will be activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list Tuesday. Fisher went 5-for-18 in five games with the Astros, hitting two homers.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
On the first play of the game, the Astros challenged the call that left fielder Davis caught Springer's fly ball. Replay officials overturned the call, determining that Davis did not have complete control of the ball before it fell to the ground.
Astros: The Astros will send their No. 1 prospect, right-hander Francis Martes, to the mound for his second Major League start at 9:05 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Martes went five innings Wednesday, allowing one run on three hits and two walks while striking out seven.
A's: Right-hander Sonny Gray, winless with a 5.87 ERA over his last four starts, will look to return to the win column Tuesday when he takes the mound against the Astros. First pitch at the Coliseum is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT.
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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.
Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Astros on Monday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.