Oakland A’s Tuesday game wrap: The Astros beat the A’s again 3-1

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: Kendall Graveman Oakland A’s pitcher in the seventh inning gives up a home run to Evan Gattis of the Houston Astros on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Field

Houston- The Astros took the second game of the three-game set 3-1 Tuesday night in Houston. The victory meant the Astros would win the series, and they go for the sweep Wednesday afternoon. The Astro’s starter Collin McHugh pitched six scoreless innings and allowed the A’s just four hits. The A’s Kendall Graveman also pitched well but not well enough to win. Graveman went seven innings and allowed three runs on four hits. Unfortunately, two of those hits were solo home runs.

Colby Rasmus hit a solo homer in the second to give the Astros the lead 1-0.  It was Rasmus’ first plate appearance since he came off the DL. Houston scored a single run in the third on a RBI single by Alex Bregman. Evan Gattis unloaded his twenty-second of the year in the seventh to extend the lead to 3-0. The A’s scored an unearned run in the top of the eighth but it wasn’t quite enough to catch the Astros and they fall to Houston 3-1.

Game Notes- With the loss, Graveman’s record fall to 10-9. He leads the A’s staff with ten wins.  “We just didn’t do enough offensively to give [Graveman] support,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ll take that stuff every night.”

“Those are the games where you save two runs there, make a couple better pitches and then you’re 1-1, so they did a good job of neutralizing our offense, and you get that feeling where you need to keep it where it’s at, but to go out and eat some innings was good,” Graveman said. “But I still feel like there’s work to be done.”

The Astros have now won nine of the last eleven games played, and they find themselves in the thick of the race for either the first or second Wild Card slot. The Red Sox are currently in the first slot. They lead the Orioles by two games. The Orioles lead the Tigers by one, and the Royals and Astros are also two back of Baltimore.

The A’s meet the Astros again Wednesday for the final game of the series. Game time will be at 11:10 am PT. Lefty Ross Detwiler(1-3) will make his fifth start as an Athletic, and Mike Fiers(9-6) will throw for Houston.

In other news, there are reports that the A’s have traded Coco Crisp to the Cleveland Indians. Coco was not in the lineup Tuesday night, and he cleaned out his locker and left the park before the start of the game. The formal announcement will be made Wednesday after approval of the trade by Major League Baseball.

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