Astros hold on for 7-6 victory over Athletics
HOUSTON (AP) For the first time in a long time, the Houston Astros turned up the music and celebrated a victory in their own clubhouse.
Dexter Fowler hit a tiebreaking RBI single in Houston’s four-run eighth inning, and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 7-6 on Saturday night.
It was Houston’s first home win since a 7-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on April 6, ending a six-game losing streak at Minute Maid Park. The Astros have won three of their last 13 games overall.
Fowler also had a solo homer as Houston snapped a three-game losing streak. Chris Carter connected for a two-run shot in the second.
The game was tied at 3 when Fowler drove in Marwin Gonzalez with a base hit against Sean Doolittle (0-2). Jason Castro then singled in Jose Altuve, and Fowler and Castro eventually came home on groundouts.
”It was just one of those nights, and that’s what’s frustrating because I looked at the film and don’t have a lot of answers,” Doolittle said. ”I couldn’t get anybody out.”
Doolittle entered the game having allowed just four runs in his previous 18 1-3 innings, dating to last season.
”Every now and then, that’s going to happen to everybody,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. ”But you don’t expect that to happen to him.”
Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer in the Oakland ninth against Jerome Williams (1-1). Nick Punto then singled, but Coco Crisp bounced into a fielder’s choice and Raul Valdes struck out John Jaso and Jed Lowrie for his first save.
Houston ended an eight-game losing streak against Oakland, dating to last season. The Astros also improved to 6-25 against the A’s overall.
The series began with a couple of ugly losses when Houston reliever Paul Clemens was ejected Thursday night and manager Bo Porter was thrown out on Friday night for hit-by-pitch-related incidents. But Porter downplayed any extra satisfaction from the victory.
”There’s nothing extra special about it,” Porter said. ”It’s a team on our schedule, and our goal is to win every game on our schedule.”
Fowler went deep in the first and Carter’s two-run shot to left on an 0-1 pitch from Dan Straily gave the Astros a 3-2 lead in the second.
Straily struck out seven in 6 1-3 innings. The right-hander allowed four hits and walked two.
Straily has allowed at least one home run in each of his first five starts and has allowed seven home runs in 27 innings after allowing just 16 in 152 1-3 innings in 2013.
”Eliminate the homers, and I’ll be doing just fine,” he said.
Oakland got to Dallas Keuchel for two runs in the first. Lowrie singled in Crisp, and Derek Norris scored when cleanup hitter Josh Donaldson grounded into a double play.
”I just felt lucky to get out of the first with just two runs, especially the way they’ve been swinging the bat,” Keuchel said.
After scoring just seven runs in three games and being swept by the Rangers, the A’s have scored 28 runs against the Astros in the last three games.
The Athletics trailed 3-2 until Crisp drove in Craig Gentry with a sacrifice fly against Williams in the seventh.
Keuchel also went 6 1-3 innings for Houston. The lefty was charged with three runs and six hits, struck out six and walked two.
NOTES: Oakland outfielder Yoenis Cespedes participated in batting practice and did light individual jogging to test a strained left hamstring. Cespedes left in the seventh inning of Oakland’s 10-1 win over Houston on Thursday after legging out an infield single. Melvin said after Saturday’s game that Cespedes was doubtful to play on Sunday. … For just the second time in their last five games, the Astros did not commit an error. They entered the week ranked third in the majors with seven errors but committed eight on Thursday and Friday.