Skye Bolt's huge game fuels Athletics' impressive win over Astros

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Bolt's huge game fuels A's impressive win over Astros originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Sometimes, it's just one of those nights. And for Athletics centerfielder Skye Bolt, it was definitely one of those nights.

"It's just confidence," Bolt said postgame following his three-hit, three-RBI game in the 5-1 win over the Houston Astros. "It feels good, it's my authentic self ... just do what I do best."

When A's manager Mark Kotsay spoke of Bolt's big night, he said that the team had always been high on Bolt's potential and ability, but also pointed to the fact that Bolt's confidence is rising.

"He has these abilities," Kotsay said. "He's got a lot of juice in the bat and it's starting to show up, so that's a good sign."

Along with Bolt's big night, A's starter Cole Irvin played well as he gave up one run, walked one, scattered three hits and struck out four in six innings of work. This is his fourth win of the season.

"I was efficient for most of the game," Irvin said of his night. He noted that even though he faltered slightly when he allowed that one run to cross the plate in the fifth inning, he felt good throughout, especially since his pitch combinations were working.

Additionally, he said that while Minute Maid Park could be seen as a hitter's park, simplifying his game plan helped him tonight. Ultimately, Irvin is looking to get more success on the road, something he feels he has been lacking in the first half.

"Today definitely helped, being able to put up zeroes," Irvin concluded.

What's more, Kotsay thought Irvin had a great night keeping a volatile Astros offense in check. Kotsay also added that Irvin's improved physique has helped him stay fresh thus far.

"Physically, he looks good. He looks strong, the velocity is still there," Kotsay said. "For me, he's doing all the right things so far."

On the flip side, Astros starter José Urquidy gave up six hits and struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings of work. He was seemingly cruising until the A's scored three runs in the seventh, forcing the Astros to go to their bullpen. Aside from a Jose Siri sac fly in the bottom of the fifth, that would be all the offense for the Astros.

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From there, it was all A's, culminating in Bolt's two-run shot in the ninth to seal the game. Bolt said that it was important to get insurance runs for the bullpen so the relief pitchers don't have as much pressure on them to execute their pitches.

"They're able to go out there in not a clutch situation and just throw their stuff and trust their stuff and know that they've got eight guys behind them that can make a play," Bolt concluded.

The A's are hoping that Friday is the first of many nights where things go their way.

Game two of the A's and Astros series is on Saturday, 1:10 PM PT.