Astros batter A’s 9-2 to complete four-game sweep

Houston Astros' Chas McCormick (6) smiles after hitting a three-run home run that scored Jason Castro (18) and Myles Straw (3) against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Houston Astros' Chas McCormick (6) smiles after hitting a three-run home run that scored Jason Castro (18) and Myles Straw (3) against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

(AP) – Jason Castro homered in his first start back with Houston, and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 9-2 on Sunday for a four-game sweep.

Dusty Baker tied Bill McKechnie for 14th among managers with 1,896 wins.

Kyle Tucker and Chas McCormick also homered for the Astros, off to their best start since 2001. Yuli Gurriel had three hits and two RBIs.

Houston outscored the A’s 35-9 in the series with 47 hits, including eight home runs. The Astros became the fourth team in major league history to score eight or more runs in each of its first four games.

“We just had tons of momentum coming in from last year,” McCormick said. “The guys are really hungry. We just crushed them from the first pitch to the last pitch of the whole series. It was cool to watch, cool to be a part of.”

Sweeping the division rival A’s was especially pleasing to the Astros, who were taunted at the Coliseum throughout the series. Houston faces the fallout from the sign-stealing scandal in which Major League Baseball penalized the team ahead of the 2020 season, which was played in empty ballparks due to the pandemic.

Oakland won seven of the 10 games with Houston in 2020 on the way to its first AL West title since 2013.

“You can’t do much better than the start that we had,” Baker said. “You take a quick, fast start anytime. You have to enjoy it while it’s here, try to build off it and keep going from there. We’re leaving out of here mainly feeling good about ourselves with our bullpen strong.”