Astros rookie right-hander Brad Peacock finally beat the Oakland Athletics the team that traded him to Houston this year. Peacock (4-5) gave up just two runs on five hits over seven innings matching his career high and lifting the Astros to a 3-2 victory. He walked one and struck out nine one shy of his career high. For most of the night Peacock baffled A’s hitters with his combination of low-90s heat and sharp-breaking curves. “I have a bunch of buddies over there” Peacock said of the A’s. “It was pretty awesome.” The A’s acquired Peacock in December 2011 from the Washington Nationals as part of a package for left-hander Gio Gonzalez. Peacock went 12-9 for Triple-A Sacramento in 2012 but the A’s shipped him to Houston on Feb. 4 along with first baseman Chris Carter and catcher Max Stassi for shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Fernando Rodriguez. In his first two career starts against the A’s this season Peacock went 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA pitching 4 1/3 each outing. Peacock said he wasn’t out to prove the A’s wrong for trading him. “I don’t look at it like that” he said smiling. “I’m happy where I am now. I got an opportunity here.” The Astros took a 3-0 lead into the eighth but had to survive some tense moments down the stretch. In the eighth A’s second baseman Eric Sogard lined Peacock’s first pitch into the right-field corner for a triple as the ball bounced off the fence and past L.J. Hoes. Stephen Vogt drove Sogard home with a double high off the right-center wall that just missed going out but ended Peacock’s night. Left-handed reliever Kevin Chapman came out of the bullpen. He struck out Coco Crisp and retired Josh Donaldson on a ground ball to second before Lowrie reached on a drag bunt moving Vogt to third. Astros right-hander Jorge De Leon came on and faced pinch hitter Alberto Callaspo. Callaspo hit a dribbler toward the mound that De Leon raced in to field. He shoveled the ball to catcher Matt Pagnozzi but Vogt slid in safely. Astros manager Bo Porter sprinted out of the dugout and vehemently argued the call with home-plate umpire Mark Ripperger who quickly threw him out of the game. “When you slow it down it looks like the guy probably was safe” Porter said. “But in my opinion at that point of the game the ball beat him there and from the way I saw it from the dugout it looked like he was clearly out. Obviously if you had the benefit of replay and you could slow it down frame by frame you may see it a little bit different. But at that point I have to defend my team. “It’s the high intensity of the game it’s how hard these guys are working. To have a play be that bang-bang and that close and you feel like the guy is out at that point I’m going to do everything I have to do to defend our team.” Astros right-hander Josh Fields came on to get the third out as Cespedes grounded to third baseman Marwin Gonzalez who stepped on third to force Lowrie. Fields pitched a one-two-three ninth.
Astros hold off late-charging A’s for series-opening victory
Houston Chronicle | Sep 6