A’s Paul Blackburn roughed up in loss to Astros

OAKLAND — The strict pitch limit Paul Blackburn was on turned out to be unnecessary.

Making his second start back from the disabled list, Blackburn was roughed up for eight runs on eight hits and two walks with no strikeouts over 1 1/3 innings in Wednesday’s 13-5 blowout loss to the Astros in front of 9,164 fans at the Coliseum. It was the shortest outing of Blackburn’s young big league career.

Blackburn had surpassed manager Bob Melvin’s expectations in his first start back from the 60-day DL last weekend against the Royals by allowing just one run over six innings of work. But going from facing one of the worst teams in baseball to the defending World Series champions is a whole different category. That’s why after the Astros nearly batted around in the first and only continued to make hard contact after, Melvin decided to pull Blackburn at just 47 pitches in the second.

With the A’s trailing 10-0 after just two innings, Khris Davis did his best to chip away at the early deficit.

Davis turned in his 18th career multi-home run game and third multi-homer game this year, first blasting a laser solo shot over the wall in right off Gerrit Cole in the sixth, and a solo home run off Reymin Guduan in the eighth. The homer off Guduan was his 19th of the season.

Stephen Piscotty also crushed a three-run home run off Cole in the fourth, his fourth of the season. But they were matched alone by Astros slugger Evan Gattis.

For the second night in a row, Gattis drove in five RBIs against the A’s, crushing two home runs as part of a 2 for 3 night.

The low amount of fans who stuck around late at least got to see some history.

With the A’s low on relief pitchers and trailing 11-5, Melvin decided to throw outfielder Jake Smolinski out on the mound for the ninth. It was the 12th time in Oakland history the A’s have used a position player on the mound and the first time at the Coliseum.

Smolinski surrendered a two-run home run to Jake Marisnick, but bounced back to retire the next three batters and finish the inning.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

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