HOUSTON (AP)Stephen Vogt hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning and the Oakland Athletics wrapped up a shaky first half by beating the Houston Astros 4-3 on Sunday.
Ramon Laureano homered for the A’s, who went into the All-Star break at 32-61, the worst record in the AL. This is their first season under manager Mark Kotsay.
”That’s a good win right there,” Kotsay said. ”Win a series against this team. Battle back from being down 3-0, shows a lot of character and a lot of fight.”
Kyle Tucker and Jeremy Pena homered for Houston, which holds the second-best record in the AL at 59-32. Manager Dusty Baker’s club won the pennant last year but lost the World Series to Atlanta.
”It is disappointing,” Baker said. ”It seems any time we had a miscue, they took advantage of it. It was a tough one to lose. We wanted to go into the break on a positive, and now, we don’t have much choice other than to regroup and get it back together when we start against the Yankees.”
Vogt, who had pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the sixth, had a two-out single down the right field line in the eighth off Rafael Montero (3-1).
Vogt, who snapped an 0-for-15 slump with the single, said he had been working in the cage over the last week to improve his swing and have a better approach at the plate.
”Montero has a great fastball, too, and I’ve been struggling with velocity,” Vogt said. ”I told myself I needed to get on time for that fastball. Fortunately, I was able to get one close to me that I was able to sneak down the line. It feels good to come through for my teammates.”
A.J. Puk (2-1) pitched a scoreless seventh for the win. Zach Jackson threw a scoreless eighth and Lou Trevino pitched the ninth for his eighth save.
Jake Odorizzi yielded three runs on five hits with five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander has surrendered three runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts.
Oakland starter Adam Oller allowed three runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. Oller was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas prior to the game.
Down 3-0, the Athletics tied it in the sixth. Laureano hit a solo home run, Sean Murphy and Seth Brown had consecutive singles, Chad Pinder hit an RBI double and Vogt’s sacrifice fly made it 3-all.
PRESSLY TIES RECORD
Ryan Pressly tied an Astros franchise record with 27 straight batters retired by striking out the side in the ninth. Pressly has thrown perfect innings in each of his last eight outings. Dave Giusti also retired 27 straight for the Astros in 1965.
Athletics: LHP Jared Koenig was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Oller on the roster. . CF Skye Bolt exited the game in the fourth with a right hand contusion after being hit by a pitch two innings earlier. . INF Jonah Bride (right shoulder) will continue his rehabilitation assignment with Las Vegas on Sunday and will return to Oakland to work out during the All-Star break. A decision on whether he will go back out for more rehab or be activated to be made following the break, Kotsay said. . RHP Dany Jimenez (right shoulder) will throw a bullpen in Arizona on Wednesday, Kotsay said. . RHP Frankie Montas (right shoulder) responded ”really well” from his bullpen and has an opportunity to start Thursday, Kotsay said.
Astros: The final decision on whether RHP Lance McCullers (right forearm) will throw another live bullpen or go out on a rehabilitation assignment will likely not be made until after the All-Star break, Baker said. . DH Yordan Alvarez (right hand) hit for the first time since going on the injured list on July 10 on Sunday and will remain in Houston to get treatment during the break ”to try to get ready for the Yankees series and the second half,” Baker said.
Athletics: Following the All-Star break, Oakland plays a doubleheader against the Tigers on Thursday before hosting the Rangers for three games starting Friday. Oakland has yet to announce its rotation.
Astros: After the break, Houston will host a doubleheader against the Yankees on Thursday before traveling to Seattle for three games starting Friday. Houston has yet to announce its rotation.
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