Montas hits 200 strikeouts, Oakland thrashes

OAKLAND, Calif .– Frankie Montas pitched seven innings of two-hitter and became the first A’s pitcher to hit 200 strikeouts in a single season in 20 years, and Oakland routed the Astros 14-2 on Friday night. Houston to keep alive its slim hopes of advancing to the postseason.

Dominican Starling Marte had four hits and drove in as many touchdowns and the Athletics stopped a four-game losing streak. Oakland started the day four games behind the Yankees in the fight for the second wild card in the American League, also behind the Mariners and Blue Jays.

Matt Olson drove in four runs for the Athletics and Chad Pinder hit a pinch-hit grand slam in the seventh inning.

Jose Altuve hit his 30th home run of the season for the Astros, who still have a three game lead over Seattle to clinch the AL West pennant.

Two years after serving an 80-game sanction for doping, Montas (13-9) had a dominant performance that helped prevent the elimination of his team in the AL West as Houston, which commands the division , take one more step towards the title. The right-hander conceded one run, fanned eight, sealed three walks and hit two batters.

The loss went to Astros starter Brandon Bielak (3-4), who allowed four hits and three runs in three innings.

For the Astros, Venezuelan José Altuve 3-1, with two runs scored and one RBI. Dominican José Siri 1-0. The Cubans Yulieski Gurriel 3-0, with an RBI; Yordan Álvarez 4-0. Puerto Ricans Carlos Correa 3-0; Martín Maldonado 3-0.

For the Athletics, the Dominican Starlin Marte 5-4, with three runs scored and four RBIs. The Brazilian Yan Gomes 3-2, with two runs scored. Venezuelan Elvis Andrus 3-1, with two runs scored.