Merced native Doug Fister discussed a game plan with catcher Jason Castro before beating the host Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, and it wasn’t complicated.
“We’re going to attack these guys,” the Houston Astros’ right-hander said.
The strategy worked to perfection, as the former Fresno State star pitched seven strong innings to help the Astros defeat the A’s 7-0 at the Coliseum and avoid a three-game sweep.
The scoring outburst was led by All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve, who was 2 for 3 with two walks. Baseball’s leading hitter at .357, he’s 12 for 17 in his last four games.
Fister (10-6) struck out five and allowed four hits and two walks as he continued his mastery of Oakland. He’s 3-1 with a 0.99 ERA in four starts against the A’s this season.
“Seeing them a lot, they know what we do and we know what they do,” Fister said. “It just comes down to execution, and I was going to fill the zone up.”
The A’s, who had won four of five since the All-Star break and took their second consecutive series, failed to advance a runner past second base against Fister, who is 9-3 over his last 15 starts going back to May 1.
BY THE NUMBERS
A statistical look at Fister’s season:
3: No-decisions, all in May.
3.42: Earned run average.
7: Consecutive decisions won, starting May 1 at Oakland through June 20 at home against the Los Angeles Angels.
10: Victories, including Thursday’s win in Oakland.
15: Home runs allowed, including three at Kansas City on June 26 in a loss that snapped his seven-game winning streak.
19: Appearances for the Astros, all starts.
40: Walks issued (none intentional).
47: Hits allowed.
118 1/3: Innings pitched.
.237: Opponents’ batting average.
Compiled by Noel Harris with contributions by The Associated Press