OAKLAND (AP) — After Houston fell into a quick one-run hole, Evan Gattis appreciated how the Astros came right back swinging.
“It’s like let ‘em know we’re here, you know?” he said.
Gattis hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs, Carlos Correa returned from a four-game absence and homered on the first pitch he saw, and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Tuesday night for their sixth straight win.
Gattis has seven homers and 20 RBIs over his last 14 games.
“It’s been good for the last month,” he said. “It’s easy to lose sight of that when you have a couple games where it’s like 1 for 8 or 9 or something like that the last couple games in Texas. It’s good to kind of sustain it a little bit.”
Lance McCullers Jr. (8-3) struck out five over seven strong innings, allowing two runs and five hits while winning a second straight decision. He surrendered Stephen Piscotty’s sacrifice fly in the second and then kept Oakland’s powerful order in check.
Correa was back in the lineup at shortstop after missing a series sweep at Texas with soreness in his right side after leaving last Wednesday’s game against the Mariners following an at-bat in the seventh inning.
Oakland scored on a wild pitch in the first before the Astros answered against Daniel Mengden (6-6). Correa homered leading off the second. Gattis hit his 11th homer three batters later, and then chased Mengden with a two-run double with two outs in the fifth.
“He’s obviously seeing the ball and he’s putting the barrel on it and coming up with huge hits, a lot of them doing damage,” manager A.J. Hinch said.
Matt Chapman hit three doubles before being hit by a pitch in the left hand in the eighth by Collin McHugh. X-rays were negative. Chapman’s three doubles matched the Oakland single-game record, done for the 28th time and first since Matt Joyce last Sept. 27.
“He’s using the whole field, seeing the ball early. Earlier in the season he was similar to this but right now I think he’s seeing the ball as well as he has all year,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “You’re seeing that the last few games.”
Ken Giles finished for his 11th save in 11 tries as the World Series champions moved to 6-1 so far this season against the A’s.
Both teams left the bases loaded in the fourth.
Mengden was charged with six runs and eight hits.
The A’s had some fun with the NBA Golden State Warriors’ victory parade through downtown Oakland on Tuesday.
“We’re back after a day off and Oakland even had a parade to celebrate us returning,” the A’s posted on Twitter.
Hinch is making a special addition to his All-Star coaching staff for next month’s game in Washington: Retired Astros first base coach Rich Dauer will be in uniform and assisting Hinch.
“Just like old times,” Hinch said.
Last November, Dauer was rushed to a hospital immediately after Houston’s victory parade to celebrate its first World Series title. He survived a difficult surgery on a blood clot in his brain.
Dauer played for the Baltimore Orioles from 1976-85, winning a World Series in 1983. Dauer was hired by the Astros after the 2014 season.
Astros: There’s no structural issue with RHP Joe Smith’s sore elbow that put him on the disabled list last week. Smith saw a couple of different doctors and for now it’s just going to take time to let the inflammation calm down, Hinch said.
Athletics: The A’s plan to make a decision as soon as Wednesday on whether RHP Trevor Cahill will need a stint on the DL, which seems likely given his Achilles injury is not improving. Melvin expects RHP Chris Bassitt would return from Triple-A Nashville to replace Cahill in the rotation. “If we do this, he deserves another chance,” Melvin said. ... LHP Brett Anderson is scheduled for his first bullpen session Wednesday as he works back from a strained shoulder that landed him on the DL on May 19.
Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (7-1, 2.16 ERA) totaled 21 strikeouts to just four earned runs allowed in his first two starts against the A’s this season.
Athletics: RHP Paul Blackburn (1-0, 1.50 ERA) makes his second start since coming off the 60-day DL after he was sidelined with a strained forearm.
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