The A's look to bounce back from their first-ever home defeat to the Astros on Wednesday night.
Oakland (67-51) leads the wild-card race, but blew a chance to move into a tie with Texas for first place in the division with a 5-4 loss to Houston on Tuesday. The A's had won three of four at Toronto over the weekend, but have dropped eight of 12 overall.
They scored three times in the eighth and Chris Young just missed hitting a game-winning two-run homer in the ninth before he fanned for the final out."That's how the game goes sometimes," said Young, who went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts Tuesday. "It goes from extremely crappy to amazing to unbelievable to crappy again."
Owners of the majors' worst record, the Astros (38-80) had dropped 11 of the first 12 meetings this season with Oakland before Jordan Lyles allowed a run through seven innings and they chased Bartolo Colon with five runs in four innings. Brandon Barnes had two RBIs for Houston, which snapped a six-game skid to win for the first time in seven games at the Coliseum."Jordan pitched a great game and the offense did just enough to win the game," manager Bo Porter said. "It's a big boost for the club."
Ex-Athletic Chris Carter added an RBI double. He has five RBIs this season against his former team, but is 6 for 47 (.128) with 17 strikeouts in those games.
Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes had three hits, including a two-run homer Tuesday. He's 10 for 24 with four RBIs his last six games against the Astros.
After being stymied by Lyles in the opener, Cespedes and the A's could face another stiff challenge against highly-touted Houston rookie Jarred Cosart (1-0, 1.36 ERA). The right-hander has allowed five earned runs but walked 17 in 33 innings of his first five career starts.
Cosart, who has yet to give up a homer, allowed two runs in five innings of a 7-5 loss to Boston last Wednesday.
In his second career start, Cosart yielded two runs - one earned - and seven hits in seven innings while not factoring in the decision of a 5-4 home win over Oakland on July 23.
He'll be opposed by Jarrod Parker (8-6, 4.04), who gave up two runs in seven innings of that contest.
The right-hander went 2-6 with a 5.76 ERA in his first 10 starts, but is 6-0 with a 2.92 ERA during the last 13. He'll try to win three straight starts for the second time this season after giving up three runs in six innings of a 14-6 win at Toronto on Friday.
It's uncertain if Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp will be back in the lineup after he was limited to pinch-running because of a sore left wrist hurt diving for a catch Sunday.
Crisp is batting .386 with four homers, 10 RBIs and 12 walks against the Astros in 2013.
|August 07, 2013||Jonathan Villar||Day-to-Day||Left game - sprained hand|
|July 31, 2013||Brandon Barnes||Day-to-Day||Lower back tightness|
|July 27, 2013||Jose Altuve||Day-to-Day||Left quad tightness|
|July 27, 2013||J.D. Martinez||15-Day DL||Sprained left wrist|
|July 23, 2013||Brandon Barnes||Day-to-Day||Left game - mild left calf strain|
|July 09, 2013||Ronny Cedeno||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left toe|
|August 11, 2013||Coco Crisp||Day-to-Day||Left wrist|
|July 25, 2013||John Jaso||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|July 20, 2013||Yoenis Cespedes||Day-to-Day||Sore left wrist|
|June 29, 2013||Jarrod Parker||Day-to-Day||Left game - right hamstring cramp|
|June 20, 2013||Derek Norris||Day-to-Day||Left game - groin injury|
|June 11, 2013||Yoenis Cespedes||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hamstring tightness|
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Two days after homering in the eighth inning to break up Yu Darvish 's no-hitter, Houston's Carlos Corporan came up with another timely late hit.
Just like that, the Astros have a winning streak and their first series win in nearly two months.
Corporan hit an RBI double off reliever Sean Doolittle in the 11th inning to drive in Jose Altuve , lifting Houston to a 2-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
"I was ready for the fastball and he threw it," Corporan said. "As soon as I hit it I thought it's either a homer or a double and we're going to score."
Corporan's hit came after Oakland nearly won the game in the bottom of the 10th when Houston left fielder Robbie Grossman made a leaping grab of Chris Young 's deep fly at the fence.
It's the first time the Astros have had back-to-back wins since June 15-16 when they took three of four from the Chicago White Sox. That's also the last time Houston won a series.
"That was a big hit by Corporan," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "He's actually got big hits all year. You look at the year (catcher Jason) Castro's having, a lot of that credit goes to Corporan being a great backup and giving him opportunities to take days off."
Jose Altuve singled with one out Doolittle (3-4) and was headed for third on Corporan's double to left-center when Young bobbled the ball. Altuve alertly rounded third and scored the tiebreaking run while Corporan was caught in a rundown between second and third.
Corporan had entered the game as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the ninth.
"We've been playing pretty good," Corporan said. "Things are going our way now. It's our turn."
Chris Carter homered and Jonathan Villar added two hits for the Astros. Houston has won the first two games of this series after dropping 11 of the first 12 between the two division rivals.
Lucas Harrell (6-13) pitched one inning for the win while Josh Fields earned his second save.
Yoenis Cespedes singled and scored Oakland's run. The A's have dropped nine of 13 and fell two games behind first-place Texas in the West.
"It just seemed like it was frustrating from the beginning and got more frustrating as the game went on," said A's manager Bob Melvin , who was ejected in the eighth inning after arguing a close play at third base.
"You have to try and put that away and keep your wits about you and not get frustrated."
Houston won despite Oakland getting the tying run on base in the bottom of the 11th.
Eric Sogard hit a leadoff double but Fields struck out Alberto Callaspo , Jed Lowrie and Josh Reddick to end it.
Carter, the former A's first baseman, homered off A's starter Jarrod Parker leading off the seventh. It's Carter's third in his last five games.
Brandon Moss 's RBI double in the seventh off Houston reliever Phil Humber tied it.
Both starting pitchers were stellar but left with no decision.
Houston's Jarred Cosart , the first pitcher in franchise history to begin his career with five consecutive starts of five-plus innings while allowing two or fewer runs, kept the A's silent early. He allowed only one runner past first base through six innings and didn't give up a fly ball out until Josh Donaldson 's sinking liner to center leading off the fifth.
The Astros also backed him with solid defense. Houston turned a double play to end the third, and center fielder Brandon Barnes made a running catch near the wall to rob Seth Smith of extra bases in the sixth.
Parker pitched a career-best 8 1-3 innings for Oakland and had six strikeouts. The right-hander faced just two over the minimum through the fifth and made his only mistake came in the seventh when he gave up Carter's team-leading 22nd home run of the season.
Melvin was ejected in the eighth after arguing a call by third base umpire Doug Eddings.
Sogard doubled leading off the inning but was thrown out on a close play trying to advance on Nate Freiman 's deep fly to center. Melvin scampered out of the dugout to dispute the call before getting tossed.
NOTES: Castro's single in the ninth extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games. ... Carter's home run was his first against his former club. He was traded to Houston in the offseason as part of Oakland's deal to acquire Lowrie. ... A's C John Jaso still has not been cleared to resume baseball activities but the team is hopeful he can return this season. Jaso met with a concussion specialist in Pittsburgh earlier this week. ... CF Coco Crisp was held out of the lineup after getting a cortisone injection in his wrist on Tuesday. ... The Astros called up INF Marwin Gonzalez from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned RHP Jorge DeLeon down. ... Houston traded minor league LHP Travis Blackley to Texas in exchange for a player to be named later and cash considerations.