Kyle Tucker became the sixth major-leaguer this season to homer three times in a game, driving in four runs in the process and powering the visiting Houston Astros to a 6-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night
Jeremy Pena, Tucker and Alex Bregman, the Astros' 2-3-4 hitters, combined to score all six runs and drive in all six. They had seven of the team's nine hits, including four homers
The Astros never trailed in beating the A's for the eighth consecutive time this season. They gained gaining the upper hand early, when Tucker belted the sixth pitch of the game from JP Sears over the fence in right-center field
Bregman bombed his 15th homer of the season in the third, scoring Pena, who had singled, before another Pena single and another Tucker homer made it a 5-1 game in the fifth.
The A's made Framber Valdez (8-6) work for his eighth win, putting up four runs against him in five innings. The right-hander allowed six hits and two walks, striking out four.
After a Jordan Diaz single drove in Oakland's first run in the third inning to make it 3-1, the A's pulled closer in the fifth inning. Consecutive singles by Nick Allen, Tony Kemp and Zack Gelof set up bases-loaded walk to Diaz to get within 5-2 with none out and the potential tying runs on the bases.
Valdez allowing a third run on a sacrifice fly by Aledmys Diaz and a fourth on an RBI grounder by JJ Bleday but got another grounder to end the inning with a 5-4 lead.
Tucker's third homer completed the scoring in the seventh and gave him 17 for the season. He had never had more than two home runs in a game, which he'd done twice.
The list of five others with three homers in the game this season includes the A's Jordan Diaz, who accomplished the feat against the New York Yankees. The other four were Trayce Thompson of the Dodgers, Adolis Garcia of the Rangers, Paul Goldschmidt of the Cardinals and Jose Ramirez of the Guardians.
Phil Maton, Rafael Montero, Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly each threw a shutout inning to preserve Valdez's win. Pressly notched his 23rd save.
Sears (1-7) took the loss, charged with five runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out one.
Tucker finished 3-for-4, while Pena had two hits and scored twice. Bregman finished with two hits and two RBIs and a run.
Jordan Diaz had two RBIs while Kemp collected a single, a double and two runs for the A's, who have lost the first two meetings of the four-game series.
--Field Level Media