Rarefied hot air: A's, Astros make Coliseum history with 10-homer game


OAKLAND -- Bob Melvin walked into his postgame press conference and sat down at the table on stage. Before anyone could even ask a question, the A's manager blurted out, "Coors Field tonight, huh?"

It certainly was, Bob. At least for one night, the Oakland Coliseum transformed into a hitter's park -- dare we say a bandbox? The A's and Astros combined to hit 10 home runs, a Coliseum record, as Oakland surged to a wild 7-6 win in the series opener.

"Not a surprise," Melvin responded when told of the record. "It seemed like any ball that you got in the air tonight had a chance to go out. ... You don't see that often here."

Typically a notorious pitcher's park, the Coliseum played small Thursday night, with warm temperatures and virtually no wind resulting in perfect hitting conditions. Ironically, A's third baseman Matt Chapman had said Wednesday that both Oracle Park in San Francisco and the Coliseum should move their fences in.

"Of course right after I say that we hit 10 home runs in a game," Chapman laughed. "That was a rarity seeing this park playing like that. Usually, it's pretty cold here and the ball doesn't travel. But that was nice."

Chapman hit two of Oakland's five round-trippers, including a 453-foot blast, representing the A's longest homer of the season.

"I've never seen the ball carry like that here," he said. "It feels like we were playing at a normal park."

Chapman wasn't the only A to hit two home runs Thursday night. Matt Olson joined him with his sixth career multi-homer game. Incredibly, Houston's Carlos Correa and Michael Brantley also deposited two long balls each -- the four players with multi-homer games tied the MLB record going back to at least 1908.

"It just felt like it was going to be one of those games early on when you saw the ball start flying like that, just kind of a game of attrition, and whoever comes up with the last home run late in the game has a chance to win," Melvin said. "And it ended up being Chapman."

Chapman indeed launched the final home run of the night, a solo shot in the eighth inning to break a 6-6 tie. It was his 15th go-ahead homer of the season, tying Milwaukee's Christian Yelich for the major-league lead.

"He seems to come up with his big work when the game is on the line," Melvin said. "That's what your best players do."

"It was fun," Chapman said. "That's obviously a really good team that we respect and want to beat. This is the Astros' division until someone knocks them off. So to be able to take the first game of the series like that, it's huge."

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It was also Chapman's second consecutive multi-homer game, a feat Khris Davis accomplished earlier this season. According to MLB Stats, Chapman and Davis are the only teammates with multiple home runs on back-to-back days this season.

And oh, by the way, the win marked the A's 9,000th in franchise history. Not a bad night at the Coliseum.

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