The Astros’ Kyle Tucker and the Athletics’ Matt Chapman join in a bench-clearing skirmish during Sunday’s game at the Oakland Coliseum. Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports

OAKLAND, Calif. — The A's completed a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros with a 7-2 victory on Sunday at the Coliseum, but not before a bench-clearing altercation between the two teams erupted in the seventh inning.

A's outfielder Ramon Laureano, on first base after he was hit in the back by a Humberto Castellanos pitch, charged at Houston hitting coach Alex Cintron after the two got into a shouting match.

With the A's leading 6-2, Laureano had some choice words for Castellanos as he walked toward first base. Cooler heads appeared to prevail when Laureano reached first, but he and Cintron got into a verbal back-and-forth before an irate Laureano ran towards the Astros dugout.

Laureano was tackled by Astros pitcher Zack Greinke before he could get to Cintron. Both benches and bullpens emptied.

The melee quickly dispersed, but not before Laureano, who could also face supplemental discipline for the incident, was ejected. A's catcher Austin Allen was also ejected from the game. No Astros player or coach was ejected from the incident, although manager Dusty Baker was ejected earlier in the game for arguing balls and strikes.

A's batters were hit five times by Astros pitchers in three games in the series.

Last month, Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly was suspended eight games and manager Dave Roberts was banned for one game by Major League Baseball for an altercation in a game with the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

MLB officials were reportedly upset by the incident, with opposing players breaking protocol by unnecessarily getting so close to each other.

Sunday's fracas added another chapter to the already simmering rivalry between the two teams, as the A's, with the win, took a 5 ½ game lead in the American League West.

Robbie Grossman, Matt Olson and Matt Chapman all homered for Oakland. Olson hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning off Astros starter Cristian Javier for a 4-1 lead, and Chapman followed that with a solo homer to left.

Cardinals-Pirates series postponed

The St. Louis Cardinals' long waiting period will continue as their three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates has been postponed.

Major League Baseball announced Sunday night that it had canceled the series, which was set to begin Monday in St. Louis. The league said that Cardinals players and staff would undergo additional testing and remain under quarantine following an outbreak of COVID-19.

"More information regarding the Cardinals' resumption of play will be announced later in the week," MLB announced.

In all, nine St. Louis players and seven staff members have tested positive for the virus. Three of those results came just days ago as the Cardinals prepared to host the Chicago Cubs this weekend for a three-game series, which also was postponed.

The Cardinals have played just five games on the season and none since July 29.

In addition to the Cubs series, MLB postponed St. Louis' series against Milwaukee and Detroit.

The Cardinals already had been scheduled to play five seven-inning doubleheaders in an attempt to make up the lost games with the Brewers and Tigers and have just two off days scheduled the rest of the season.

The Cardinals are scheduled to play a doubleheader in Detroit on Thursday – added on a previously scheduled off day – before heading to Chicago to play three games against the White Sox.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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