HOUSTON -- The way their ninth-inning rally fizzled after a promising start on Tuesday night was a fitting end to a frustrating night for the Astros.Oakland overcame a three-run homer by George Springer in the final frame, with closer Santiago Casilla inducing a key double play to end the game
HOUSTON -- The way their ninth-inning rally fizzled after a promising start on Tuesday night was a fitting end to a frustrating night for the Astros.
Oakland overcame a three-run homer by George Springer in the final frame, with closer Santiago Casilla inducing a key double play to end the game and help the A's to a rare win over the first-place Astros, 6-4, at Minute Maid Park.
Springer did his part to keep his team in it, making a Statcast™ four-star catch in the third inning, but the Astros stranded 10 men on base and went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa followed Springer's ninth-inning homer with singles, but Josh Reddick popped out and Brian McCann followed by hitting into a game-ending 3-6-1 double play to secure Oakland's second win over Houston in teams' last 18 meetings.
• Springer dazzles with sick four-star catch
"We had the right matchups, had the right guys in there, but just fell a little short," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
"We've had that game before, maybe not to that extent, but we've gotten walked off quite a few times here the last few years," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It's never over until it's over, so thank goodness we had a little bit of a cushion. [Casilla] made a pitch when he needed to and got two outs."
A's starter Sean Manaea shut down Houston's high-powered offense for 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run and nine hits, and Ryon Healy walloped his first career grand slam in the sixth inning to put Oakland ahead, 5-1. The homer came an inning after the Astros could push only one run across against Manaea (7-4) after loading the bases with no outs.
Astros starter Mike Fiers (5-3) lost for the first time since May 20, snapping his personal four-game winning streak. He matched Manaea with 5 2/3 innings but allowed four hits and four runs, three of which scored on Healy's grand slam.
"I felt pretty good," Fiers said. "They battled me again and put me in a lot of tough situations, a lot of jams, and cashed in in the sixth."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
3-and-uh-oh: The Astros loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth against Manaea, who had nowhere to put clean-up hitter Evan Gattis and promptly fell behind in the count, 3-0. Gattis swung at the 3-0 pitch, which Statcast™ showed to be below the strike zone, and grounded into a double play, pushing home the tying run. Manaea got McCann to ground out on the next pitch.
"It's 3-0 with the bases loaded and one of the bigger-damage guys on our team," Hinch said. "He swung at a ball below the zone, which traded two outs for one run at that point to tie the game. You want a little bit more, but I want him to have the freedom to swing and do some damage. The results often dictate the good feeling or bad feeling, but he can do a lot of damage there and change the scoreboard quite a bit." More >
Four score: Whereas the Astros couldn't fully capitalize with the bases loaded in the fifth, the A's certainly did in the sixth. Fiers loaded the bases on singles by Matt Joyce and Jed Lowrie and a two-out walk to Yonder Alonso, who was the final batter Fiers faced. Hoyt's 3-2 pitch to Healy was deposited into the right-field seats for a grand slam that put Oakland ahead, 5-1.
"I knew he was going to slider the heck out of me," Healy said. "I was really just trying to get a pitch up in my zone. Fortunately, it took ... what, eight pitches? I finally got one and didn't miss it." More >
"At the end of the day, I let the team down. I'll take full responsibility for that. They put me out there in a big time in the game, and I didn't do my job. It's a 3-2 count, me vs. him, and he beat me. I have to tip my cap to that," -- Hoyt, on giving up the grand slam to Healy
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Springer's homer tied Craig Biggio's franchise record for leadoff homers in a season (23) and put him second in the AL behind the Yankees' Aaron Judge (26) in homers this season.
A's: Right-hander Jesse Hahn will look to rebound from his worst start of the season when he takes the mound on Wednesday at 5:10 p.m. PT for the middle matchup of a three-game set against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Hahn allowed 10 runs (nine earned) in two innings against the Astros at the Coliseum last week after yielding no more than three earned runs in 10 of his previous 11 starts.
Astros: Right-hander David Paulino will make his fifth start of the season when the Astros meet the A's at 7:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park. The team is 3-2 this year in Paulino's five starts.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.