Astros remain hot in home opener with 6-2 win over Athletics

Houston Astros' Chas McCormick (6) smiles after hitting a three-run home run that scored Jason Castro (18) and Myles Straw (3) against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – The Houston Astros insisted they weren’t bothered by the angry crowds they faced on the road to start the season.

But what a feeling it was to hear the cheers of the home crowd once again.

“It was a beautiful night," José Altuve said. “Kind of like a dream come true."

Carlos Correa, Yordan Álvarez and Altuve homered as the Astros kept up their hot start by treating the home crowd to a 6-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night in the first game with fans at Minute Maid Park since 2019.

Houston is 6-1 this season, tied for the best seven-game start in franchise history. Five of the team’s wins have come against the Athletics after a sweep in Oakland to start the season. The Astros have outscored Oakland 41-11.

They received a warm welcome from a boisterous crowd of 21,765 in the first game in Houston with fans since Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, which the Astros lost to the Washington Nationals. Capacity was limited to 50% because of coronavirus restrictions.

“It made a big difference," manager Dusty Baker said. “I could see the positive energy on our team."

It was a welcome respite from the reception they received on a six-game trip to start the season. The road crowds inundated the team with incessant boos and chants of "cheaters" in the first chance to berate the Astros since their sign-stealing scheme was revealed in January 2020.