OAKLAND, Calif. – When their star players go down, the Oakland Athletics turn to their depth.
Sean Murphy homered and hit a two-run single to help Chris Bassitt snap a three-start winless stretch, and the A's beat the Houston Astros 6-0 on Monday night with both teams missing star players.
Tony Kemp added an RBI double in the second for the AL West-leading A's (24-14) against his former club in the first of five games over four days between the division rivals.
“It was big. First run of the game like that is huge,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We’re going to need everybody. We’ve got some guys down right now, we’re going to need everybody on our roster. That’s the way we’ve always operated here.”
Ramón Laureano provided insurance with a seventh-inning sacrifice fly and Stephen Piscotty singled home a run in the eighth.
Bassitt (3-2) struck out four and didn't walk a batter over seven scoreless innings, allowing seven hits, saying, “I just had every pitch kind of working.” He had lost his previous two outings and was winless since beating the Angels on Aug. 12.
“He was on tonight,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “... We didn't score. We're facing better pitching, some of the best pitching in the league. You hate to get shut out. I hate shutouts because that means you don't have a chance to even win 1-0."
Carlos Correa had two hits for the Astros (21-20) as Houston's losing streak reached five games.