The Houston Astros took advantage of three errors to score three runs in the seventh inning Sunday afternoon, breaking a late tie en route to an 8-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics in Houston.
The win was the Astros’ second in a row after a series-opening 8-1 loss to the A’s and allowed them to gather some momentum on the eve of an American League Championship Series rematch with the New York Yankees that begins on Monday.
After the A’s had rallied from a 3-1 deficit to get even with single runs in the sixth and top of the seventh, Alex Bregman led off the last of the seventh with a walk from Oakland starter Trevor Cahill (1-1).
Yusmeiro Petit entered and struck out Marwin Gonzalez, but Bregman was able to steal second on the final strike and continue to third when catcher Jonathan Lucroy’s throw got away for an error.
A’s shortstop Marcus Semien then booted pinch hitter Brian McCann’s grounder for another error, this one allowing Bregman to score the go-ahead run.
Jake Marisnick followed with a double off for a 5-3 lead, taking third on Oakland’s third error of the inning, an errant throw by newly inserted reliever Ryan Dull.
Jose Altuve then made it 6-3 with an RBI single.
Oakland, which had won nine of its previous 12, made four errors in the game.
Will Harris (1-1), who got the final out of the top of the seventh to preserve a 3-3 tie, got the win.
The Astros put the game away with a two-run eighth that featured an RBI single by Gonzalez and a sacrifice fly by McCann.
George Springer had a solo home run, his sixth of the season, and an RBI single to account for two of the Astros’ first three runs. Altuve’s squeeze bunt capped a two-run third inning that put Houston on top 2-1.
Cahill allowed four runs (three earned) and four hits in six-plus innings. He walked one and struck out five.
Lucroy doubled home Oakland’s first run in the third inning, scored the second run on a Jed Lowrie single in the fifth and tied the game at 3-3 with a single that scored Stephen Piscotty in the seventh. He finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Gerrit Cole worked 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and six hits. He struck out 12 and did not walk a batter. The 12 strikeouts were two shy of the career-best 14 he had earlier this month against Texas.
Springer and Gonzalez had two hits apiece for the Astros, who won for the ninth time in their last 12 games. Springer and Altuve drove in two runs apiece.
Chad Pinder, who earlier had doubled and scored on Lucroy’s third-inning double, completed the scoring with a two-out, solo homer, his third of the season, in the ninth.
—Field Level Media