HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros showed how powerful their lineup can be for a second straight game.
Zack Greinke struck out five in six strong innings, Robinson Chirinos and Yordan Alvarez each homered twice as Houston hit a major league-record six home runs in the first two innings, and the high-scoring Astros routed the Oakland Athletics 15-0 Monday night for their fifth straight victory.
Monday’s offensive outburst, combined with Sunday’s 21-1 win over Seattle, helpedthe Astros set a franchise record for runs scored in consecutive games with 36.
“We were just incredibly explosive again tonight in a game that had a really good feel in the beginning,” Houston manager AJ Hinch said. “We ambushed Mike (Fiers). I don’t know how to describe it. We came out locked in and did a ton of damage. He made some mistakes, and we didn’t let him get away with really any of them.”
Helped by six of their seven total homers, Houston raced to an 11-0 lead after two innings. The seven shots matched a franchise record for homers in a game set Sept. 9, 2000, against the Chicago Cubs.
Chirinos capped the first with a two-run homer and hit a three-run shot in the seventh. He added an RBI single in a five-run second inning.
“It’s really special when you see a team put up that many runs in back-to-back games,” Chirinos said. “It says a lot about the approach and the talent we have on this team.”
Alex Bregman started the offensive display with a three-run homer, and Alvarez followed with a solo shot into the second deck in right field.
Alvarez hit his second solo shot into the third deck in right field in the second inning. Alvarez has 24 home runs, an Astros’ rookie record, and has 72 RBIs in his first 71 games, which is tied for second-most in major league history with Ted Williams (1939) and Rudy York (1937), and trailing Walt Dropo’s 80 (1949-50).
“We thought this guy was going to be very impactful, but this is beyond belief or anything that people could have expected,” Hinch said. “He’s doing historic things in a middle of a lineup. He’s completely comfortable in the big leagues. . It’s incredible to see the production.”
Jose Altuve hit a two-run homer to left to start the scoring in the second, and Michael Brantley followed with a solo blast to right that chased Mike Fiers (14-4). Brantley’s homer was his 21st, a career high.
The Astros extended their lead over Oakland to 10 ½ games in the AL West. They remain tied with the New York Yankees for the best record in the majors.
Greinke (15-5) retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced. He allowed just two hits and didn’t walk a batter.
Houston’s offensive exploits spoiled Fiers’ try at a piece of A’s history. The right-hander had won 12 straight decisions and was bidding to match Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter’s run in 1973 for the best since the club moved to the Bay Area.
“I feel like I didn’t make the pitches I needed to make, and that’s what happens when you don’t make them,” Fiers said. “They weren’t missing any mistakes.”
Fiers allowed a career-high nine runs on nine hits in one-plus innings. He allowed a career-high five home runs.
“He missed his spots a few times, and they are a home run hitting club,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s amazing how many runs they have scored the last two nights. They got on him early, and he didn’t have an answer for that.”
Athletics: OF Ramón Laureano was out of the lineup a second straight day after leaving Saturday’s game with cramps in his right leg.
Astros: 1B Yuli Gurriel was out of the lineup for a third straight game with a sore left hamstring, but he took ground balls and ran prior to the game. … Correa fielded ground balls and took batting practice Monday.
A’S ROSTER MOVES
Oakland promoted LHP Jesús Luzardo and recalled RHP Daniel Mengden from Triple-A Las Vegas. To open up a spot on the 40-man roster for Luzardo, Oakland recalled OF Luis Barrera from Double-A Midland and placed him on the 60-day disabled list.
Athletics: RHP Tanner Roark (9-8, 3.86 ERA) starts Tuesday looking to continue his solid work since being acquired at the trade deadline. Roark has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his six starts with the Athletics.
Astros: LHP Wade Miley (13-4, 3.35) starts Tuesday looking to rebound after yielding five runs without recording an out in his last start Thursday against the Mariners.
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