Thu, Aug 15, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Oakland pipped to top spot after falling to Astros

AP, OAKLAND, California

Taiwanese player Lo Chia-jen of the Houston Astros pitches against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday in Oakland, California.

Photo: AFP


Jordan Lyles pitched seven innings for his first win in nearly two months, while Brandon Barnes doubled twice and drove in two runs as the Houston Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4 on Tuesday night to snap a six-game losing streak.

Juan Castro singled in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games, scored a run and added a sacrifice fly for Houston. Matt Dominguez added two hits, including one of four doubles off A’s starter Bartolo Colon, who lost in his second bid to become the first pitcher in major league history to win 15 games with four American League teams.

Yoenis Cespedes singled, doubled and homered for Oakland, which nearly won the game on Chris Young’s long foul ball that was reviewed, but missed a chance to move percentage points ahead of Texas in the AL West.

With a runner on first base in the ninth, Young hit an 0-1 pitch from Taiwanese pitcher Lo Chia-jen down the right-field line. The ball curved just outside the foul pole and third-base umpire Doug Eddings immediately ruled it foul.

After A’s manager Bob Melvin came out to argue the call, the four umpires went underneath the stands to review the play before confirming the original ruling.

The Astros dropped 11 of the first 12 games the season between the division rivals before knocking Colon (14-5) out of the game early and holding off a late rally.

Colon, who had defeated Houston three times already this season, gave up five runs and seven hits in four innings with one walk and three strikeouts. Oakland’s All-Star right-hander has allowed 10 earned runs over his last two outings while his ERA has risen from 2.5 to 2.97.

Lyles (5-6) sailed through his first career appearance against the A’s. He gave up five hits, allowed only one runner past second base and got Oakland to ground into two double plays.

That ended an eight-start winless skid for the Houston right-hander, who had been 0-5 since his last victory on June 18.

However, Houston’s bullpen made Lyles sweat it out.

Josh Reddick singled in Jed Lowrie in the eighth and Cespedes followed with a two-out, two-run home run off Josh Zeid to pull the A’s within 5-4. After Kevin Chapman replaced Zeid and hit pinch-hitter Nate Freiman, Lo got Josh Donaldson to fly out to center.

Lo recorded the final four outs for his first career save.

The loss prevented Oakland from moving back into first place in the West after Texas lost to Milwaukee. The Rangers moved in front of the A’s over the weekend while sweeping a four-game series from the Astros.

Barnes got into a lengthy battle with Colon in the second before doubling in Castro and Dominguez to put the Astros up 2-0.

After Castro and former A’s first baseman Chris Carter drove in runs in the third, Barnes doubled again leading off the fourth and scored on a double play to make it 5-0.

The A’s scored their first run in the fifth when Donaldson tripled and scored on a double play.

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