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Astros Crush A's in McCullers' Return to the Mound

Inside The Astros on FanNation logo Inside The Astros on FanNation 8/14/2022 Kenny Van Doren
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The Houston Astros clubbed eight runs on the Oakland A's while Lance McCullers Jr. tossed six-scoreless innings.

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Lance McCullers Jr. is back. The Houston Astros' ace from the 2021 postseason push made his season debut Saturday and didn't disappoint in the club's 8-0 win over the Oakland A's.

McCullers threw 81 pitches, 47 for strikes, through six frames with five punch outs. He did not surrender a run although allowed two hits and four walks in his first start off the injured list.

On a pitch limit, McCullers still twirled a quality start in his first Major League action since Game 4 of the 2021 American League Division Series. And while the Astros deploy a six-man rotation, McCullers' presence adds more riches to the American League leaders.

On the offensive side, Alex Bregman stayed hot, belting a two-run home run in the first inning to score Yordan Álvarez. In the fourth inning, Chas McCormick — who started in center field — drove in a pair on a two-out triple.

With a four-run lead, Houston doubled its damage in the sixth and seventh innings. Trey Mancini doubled home Kyle Tucker on a three-hit night as the starting left fielder — his first action in the outfield since he was acquired from Baltimore. 

Jeremy Peña followed with his own double to score Mancini and give the Astros six runs after six innings. Tucker — who lead the sport in triples in 2020 — tripled home a pair on a rocket off the facing of the Astros' bullpen to give Houston an eight-run lead.

Phil Maton tossed a clean inning behind McCullers, striking out two and yielding two hits. Bryan Abreu worked the final two frame, providing longer leverage on 31 pitches. The righty struck out a batter and allowed one base runner.

The Astros look for a series sweep starting at 1:10 p.m. Sunday. Cristian Javier will toe the rubber with lefty Cole Irvin.

More From SI's Inside The Astros:

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  3. Jeremy Peña isn't Competing for Rookie of the Year, And That's a Good Thing
  4. Houston Astros Poised to Make Another World Series Run
  5. Mancini Mania: Behind the Houston Astros' Latest Streak of History
  6. Artist Brendan Murphy on His Signature Addition to Minute Maid Park
  7. Trey Mancini Gives Houston Astros a Much Deeper Lineup
  8. Astros Pass New York Yankees as Best Team in the American League
  9. Astros' Álvarez Stopped Striking Out and Became the Best Hitter in Baseball
  10. 'Tracking Like Wheels Up': A Long Journey Back For Astros Prospect McKee

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