Stephen Piscotty slugged a leadoff home run in the seventh and added a run-scoring single an inning later as the Oakland Athletics continued their torrid play with a 2-0 victory over the host Houston Astros on Monday at Minute Maid Park.
The Athletics (51-40) won for the 17th time in 21 games and snapped an eight-game losing skid to the Astros (61-32). Houston had its overall six-game winning streak halted as well as its six-game run at home. Oakland has won 11 of its past 12 games decided by two runs or fewer.
Piscotty provided all the offense the Athletics would need when he greeted Astros reliever Brad Peacock (1-4) with a blast to left field, his 10th homer on the season.
When Houston executed a pitching change ahead of Piscotty again with two outs in the eighth, he delivered with a soft single to center field that scored Khris Davis from second base. Davis and Matt Olson worked back-to-back walks against Astros right-hander Will Harris to initiate that two-out rally.
Athletics right-hander Frankie Montas (5-2) worked six scoreless innings in a reversal of fortune against the Astros, who tagged him for seven runs (five earned) and 11 hits on June 14 in Oakland. This time Montas was in complete control, allowing three hits and two walks with two strikeouts. He allowed just two baserunners into scoring position, with no one reaching third.
Right-handers Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen secured the shutout. Trivino recorded three strikeouts over two perfect innings before Treinen, Oakland’s All-Star closer, handled the ninth by working around singles from George Springer and Josh Reddick to record his 23rd save.
Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole produced 11 strikeouts over six shutout innings, running his season total to 169 to set a club record for strikeouts prior to the All-Star game. Right-hander Mike Scott posted 167 strikeouts over 161 innings in the first half of the 1986 campaign. Cole, who allowed three hits and three walks, has worked 122 2/3 innings this season.
The Astros took their sixth shutout loss this season, all at Minute Maid Park.
—Field Level Media