Nate Freiman was all smiles today as he went 4-4, a triple away from the cycle, and driving in 4 RBI’s in his first two at-bats. He knocked in Chris Young for the game’s first score with a first-pitch double and in the 3rd inning he hit his 3rd home run of the year, all coming against the Astros. After desperately needing a deep threat in the line-up, Duke’s all-time leader in home runs may be the answer.
Freiman wasn’t the only rookie to have a great day in the Coliseum as Sonny Gray tossed 8 innings of shutout ball allowing only 4 hits and striking out 9 in his second career start after falling short against the Blue Jays last week. In his first two starts Gray has allowed only 2 earned runs and may be a solution to Bartolo Colon’s age and slipping performance.
The Oakland A’s won today because of pitching, run support, and most importantly solid defense. Before today, Oakland committed 13 errors in their last 13 games, but they managed to make it through an entire game without an error. The result; a 5-0 shutout of the worst team in the league, and avoiding being the Astros 2nd sweep of their sad season. With the offense struggling the defense needs to be the focus and the team can’t afford to blow games with errors.
Oakland is also battling more at the plate leading to early exits of opposing starting pitchers ousting Bedard after only 4 2/3 innings with 97 pitches and 5 earned runs. The A’s are finally back to playing their style of ball and making opposing pitchers beat them in order to gain any ground. However, with the younger players stepping as the veterans are starting to break down, Oakland looks as if they could be in good shape for years to come.