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Graveman's sinker can't cool off Houston

A's starter limits damage, allows 2 runs over 6 innings
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- With his typical heavy dosage of sinkers, Kendall Graveman continued to have success against the Astros, completing six innings but ending up with a 3-0 loss on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.

Graveman allowed two runs and three walks and struck out three, moving his line vs. Houston to 2-2 with a 2.72 ERA in five starts since July 9, 2016.

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HOUSTON -- With his typical heavy dosage of sinkers, Kendall Graveman continued to have success against the Astros, completing six innings but ending up with a 3-0 loss on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.

Graveman allowed two runs and three walks and struck out three, moving his line vs. Houston to 2-2 with a 2.72 ERA in five starts since July 9, 2016.

View Full Game Coverage

Since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 3, Graveman has worked into the sixth inning in three of his four starts, expending much-needed length in front of Oakland's bullpen, which ranked 27th in MLB with a 4.65 ERA prior to Saturday's games.

Graveman gave the A's a chance at a win over the American League West leaders, but a lack of offense squandered that in Oakland's 12th loss in 14 games against Houston this season.

"He threw the ball well, especially when there was some traffic," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He pitched out of some jams, had a chance to get out of one completely."

Video: OAK@HOU: Graveman makes a sliding stop, nabs Gonzalez

"The fourth inning was a long one," Graveman said.

His lone mishap that inning came on Marwin Gonzalez's bases-loaded single that deflected off second baseman Jed Lowrie's glove, rolling into right field and scoring two runs -- both of which had reached base on walks.

After the two-run single, Graveman induced three flyouts to end the threat.

"Good news is, like I said, we limited damage, so it could've really gotten out of hand there," Graveman said. "I thought I located the baseball well tonight. Overall, I think the stuff was good. We mixed in some more off-speed pitches tonight than usual. But yeah, the two walks definitely hurt there in the fourth inning."

Video: OAK@HOU: Gonzalez bounces a two-run single into right

Of Graveman's 100 pitches, 71 were sinkers.

"[He] gave us a good chance to win that game tonight," catcher Bruce Maxwell said.

Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

Oakland Athletics, Kendall Graveman