OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — George Springer has developed into a powerful tone-setter for the Houston Astros.
Springer's eighth leadoff homer of the season sparked a five-run first inning and the Astros once again made themselves at home in Oakland with an 8-4 victory over the Athletics on Tuesday night.
"We're wowed by him because he's setting such a great tone at the top of the order and doing it with a lot of power," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "The first at-bat of the game you have to be ready. He's kind of must-see TV at the top of the order."
Brian McCann and Yuli Gurriel each added an RBI double, and Alex Bregman hit a two-run single in the first against Sonny Gray (2-3) to give the Astros their eighth straight win at the Coliseum and 13th in the last 14 meetings with the A's overall.
Francis Martes (2-0) was the beneficiary of the early outburst and won his second straight start to begin his career. Houston's heralded prospect allowed three runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Chad Pinder hit a solo homer and Khris Davis and Jaycob Brugman added RBI hits for the A's, who cut the deficit to one but couldn't climb out of the early hole.
"We kept going and found some good at-bats and scored some runs, got ourselves back in the game," manager Bob Melvin said. "We're an at-bat away from tying the game."
Carlos Correa gave the Astros some insurance with a two-run single in the eighth, and Carlos Beltran added a solo homer in the ninth.