The Oakland A’s have been making an impressive run in the AL West recently, tying the Houston Astros for first on August 19 during a previous series. While Houston’s been able to pull back into the division lead since then, posting an overall 81-50 record to the A’s 79-53 heading into Tuesday night’s game against Oakland (including a 11-4 win in the series opener Monday), A’s first baseman Matt Olson was able to put his team into the lead in Tuesday’s game with a mammoth three-run third-inning homer:
That’s a massive shot off a Charlie Morton curveball, and you can tell from Olson’s reaction he knew it was gone instantly. That was his 24th home run of the season. And it’s one the team particularly needed.
Tuesday saw plenty of negative news for the A’s, with star pitcher Sean Manaea shut down indefinitely with rotor cuff tendinitis and fellow starter Brett Anderson (who was hit hard in Monday’s 11-4 loss, allowing five runs on seven hits in two and two-thirds innnings) placed on the DL with a left forearm strain. That’s raised further questions about if they’ll try to grab another starter before Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline. For now, though, the bats are helping out, with Olson’s shot particularly standing out, propelling Oakland to a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth. We’ll see if they can hang onto that and put further pressure on the Astros in the AL West race.