OAKLAND -- Held hitless for six innings, the Astros scored eight straight runs -- capped by a two-run homer by George Springer in the eighth inning -- to wipe out a five-run deficit and stun the A's, 10-6, on Saturday afternoon at Oakland Coliseum.The Astros scored twice in the sixth,
OAKLAND -- Held hitless for six innings, the Astros scored eight straight runs -- capped by a two-run homer by George Springer in the eighth inning -- to wipe out a five-run deficit and stun the A's, 10-6, on Saturday afternoon at Oakland Coliseum.
The Astros scored twice in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings and pushed across four runs in the eighth to stretch their winning streak to four games overall and nine consecutive against the A's.
"We had a good run there," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "They let us hang in the game a little bit, and once we got rolling, we got a few guys on base and we took advantage of some base running stuff we did well and pecked away until we got back in it. We had a couple of big hits. We just kept playing and kept playing, which is a characteristic about this team that I love."
At 8-4, the Astros have matched their best 12-game start in club history (2006).
"From not having any hits and three or four runs to having eight hits and  runs, it's a crazy game," Springer said.
Lefty Sean Manaea held the Astros hitless for five innings, and Trevor Plouffe and Khris Davis clubbed solo homers off Lance McCullers in the fifth to give Oakland a 5-0 lead.
The Astros didn't get a hit until Norichika Aoki led off the seventh with a single.
Houston tied the game at 5 in the eighth when the first pitch thrown by reliever Sean Doolittle bounced away and allowed pinch-runner Josh Reddick to score from third. A sac fly by Aoki put the Astros ahead, 6-5, despite having only three singles to that point. Springer added his sixth homer of the season, giving Houston an 8-5 lead.
"It was just putting too many guys on base," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "We played the first half of the game really well and probably as poorly as we can play the second half of the game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Small ball: Hinch isn't a fan of giving up outs, but a perfectly-executed sacrifice bunt by Marwin Gonzalez in the eighth inning paid off. Gonzalez's bunt moved Reddick and Brian McCann into scoring position, and Reddick scored on the next pitch -- a wild pitch by Doolittle -- to tie the game. McCann scored the go-ahead run on Aoki's sac fly. The Astros also had eight walks and five stolen bases, making the most of their opportunities despite having only one extra-base hit.
"It's a dynamic offense," McCann said. "We're never out of it. You look up and down our lineup, it's not an easy lineup. Guys take their walks, guys hunt pitches and guys hit homers. We've got speed. It's hard to navigate through our lineup for three times. We play great defense. We're just a really good team."
Coming up empty: After the A's had built a 5-0 lead, their inability to score after loading the bases with no outs in the third didn't appear as if it would hurt them, but it would up looming large. McCullers issued a walk and gave up two singles to start the third before striking out Stephen Vogt, getting Yonder Alonso to pop out and striking out Ryon Healy to strand the bases loaded. Oakland was 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
"That's a big moment," McCullers said. "Coming off the second when I gave up three, it was a situation it could have been really bad, really early, and you never want that. I bowed my neck a little bit and made some good pitches there."
"It just kind of snowballed on us. I guess the silver lining here is we all kind of had a bad day at once." -- Doolittle on loss to Astros.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Jose Altuve stole two bases in the seventh inning, putting him alone in sixth-place on the Astros' all-time stolen base list with 204. He was tied with Jeff Bagwell at 202.
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa is day to day after suffering a left hand contusion when he was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning and removed from the game. The X-rays were negative.
Astros:Charlie Morton (0-1, 4.09 ERA) will be making his first career start against Oakland in Sunday's 3:07 p.m. CT series finale at Oakland Coliseum. He faced the Mariners in his first two starts, allowing 12 hits and five runs in 11 innings while striking out 10 batters.
Athletics:Jharel Cotton (1-1, 3.97 ERA) makes his second career start against the Astros and is attempting to string together back-to-back wins for the first time in his career. The right-hander is coming off the best start of his young career when he combined with two relievers on a three-hit shutout of Kansas City.
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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Athletics on Saturday.