Oller gets first MLB win as he silences volatile Astros bats originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Athletics are starting to heat up after the All-Star break.
Winners of four of their last five after a 7-5 victory over the Houston Astros on Monday at the Oakland Coliseum, it seems as if the A’s are off to a good start in the second half of the season; thanks to Adam Oller and Tony Kemp.
“It’s unreal,” Oller said postgame after his first MLB win. “This moment really solidifies everything, makes you feel good about yourself.”
After giving up a first-inning home run to Jeremy Peña, Oller buckled down. At one point, Oller retired nine straight Astros hitters and departed in the sixth inning after giving up a leadoff double to Peña and walking Yordan Álvarez.
“He threw the ball great,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said of Oller’s performance. “Overall, he did a great job tonight and gave us an opportunity to win the game.”
In his five innings of work, he gave up four hits, three earned runs, walked two, and struck out four.
“It was an awesome feeling beating the Astros,” Oller said. He noted that he grew up and currently lives in Houston, hence why his first MLB win has more meaning than most and that it “couldn’t have been a better story.”
While Oller provided stability on the mound, Tony Kemp provided the fireworks for the A’s offense. Against the Astros, Kemp went 2-3 with a home run and three RBI.
“I think the biggest thing is that we’re being aggressive, and I think everyone’s confidence is just continuing to grow as the season goes on,” Kemp said postgame. “I feel like you just have to build off it. That’s a testament to everybody for putting that work in.”
Kemp also said that having a few days off because of the All-Star break was the mental reset they needed and perhaps could power a push in the second half. What’s more, Kemp alluded that the extra work the team has been putting in is paying off.
“I feel like everyone’s just putting their head down and working as hard as they can, and we’re getting some results,” he said.
The A’s have been seeing the ball well and getting hits when they’ve mattered. In their last ten games, the A’s have scored 41 runs and are 6-4 against the Astros, Detroit Tigers, and Texas Rangers. Kotsay has liked what he’s seen on the offensive end recently.
“I think their confidence is growing,” Kotsay said. “Right now, I feel like that room in there is building some confidence, starting to believe in the process … and the momentum of the offense is there right now.”
On the Astros’ side, Houston’s starter Jake Odorrizi went five innings giving up seven hits; six earned runs, two home runs, and one walk. Odorizzi did exit the game with the trainer, which the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome later reported as a blister on his right middle finger.
In the sixth, two Astros would score on a throwing error by Domingo Acevedo to make it 6-4. Then, in the ninth, Chas McCormick hit a 2-2 pitch over the fence in deep right field to make it a 7-5 ballgame. However, that would be the closest the Astros would get as Lou Trevino would strike out Peña to end any potential comeback.
RELATED: A’s ‘on the right track’ with inspiring three-game winning streak
The Oakland starter hopes to show that he belongs in the big leagues following his strong performance.
“I’m just hoping that going forward, I can keep showing that I deserve to be here … I want to be a career guy,” Oller concluded.
If Oller has more outings as he had on Monday night, the A’s would be poised to keep him around.
The A’s will look for the second win of the series against their AL West rival, with Frankie Montas facing off against the Astros’ Luis Garcia on Tuesday.