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Corporan's homer gives Astros rare series win

The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Houston Astros backup catcher Carlos Corporan is making a habit of coming through with big hits.

Two nights after breaking up Yu Darvish's no-hitter with an eighth-inning home run, Corporan produced an even more important hit Wednesday night, lifting the Astros to a 2-1, 11-inning victory over the Oakland A's.

Jose Altuve started the winning rally with a one-out single off A's reliever Sean Doolittle (3-4) in the top of the 11th, and Corporan followed with an RBI double off the left-center-field wall, snapping a 1-1 tie.

"I'm just trying to do my job," said Corporan, who entered the game in bottom of the ninth inning after starter Jason Castro left for a pinch runner. "I'm just trying to put a good swing on the ball. I do my homework, I prepare. I hit early. That's what you control. Things are going my way, man."

Astros right-hander Josh Fields gave up a leadoff double to Eric Sogard in the bottom of the 11th. Alberto Callaspo popped out to Fields on a failed bunt attempt, pinch hitter Jed Lowrie struck out looking, and Josh Reddick struck out swinging as Fields secured his second save of the season.

"It was just an awesome team win," Fields said. "A lot of guys contributed tonight and made that possible. I think it was really big, just for kind of where we are. It's been a grind, been a tough year. Just for the morale, to pull together and win a ballgame like that, it was huge."

Lucas Harrell (6-13) pitched one scoreless inning to earn the win.

The last-place Astros beat the A's for the second straight game and will look for the sweep Thursday. Houston clinched its first series win since taking two of three from the Milwaukee Brewers from June 18-20.

The A's, meanwhile, fell two games behind the first-place Texas Rangers in the American League West.

A's left fielder Chris Young nearly ended the game in the bottom of the 10th when he sent Harrell's 3-2 pitch high and deep to left. However, Astros left fielder Robbie Gross made a leaping catch at the fence for the third out, robbing Young of a walk-off homer.

"I thought he hit it good enough, but I thought the park would hold it a little bit and give me a chance," Grossman said. "That's all I needed."

Young nearly hit a two-run walk-off homer Tuesday night, but his ninth-inning blast to left went inches foul.

"It was a great play," Young said of Grossman's catch. "I hit the ball pretty good -- nighttime here it doesn't fly too good. I did what I wanted to do."

After being robbed Wednesday, Young, as he ran to his position in center field, asked Grossman to show him the ball -- just to confirm that he caught it.

"I had to make sure," Young said. "You never know. It would be the best prank of all time. You just have to see it to believe it."

A's right-hander Jarrod Parker and Astros righty Jarred Cosart were locked in a pitching duel for most of the game. Both threw gems, but neither received a decision.

Cosart blanked the A's for six innings on three hits. He struck out four, walked one and lowered his ERA to 1.15. He received his fifth straight no-decision after winning his first major league start on July 12 at Tampa Bay.

Parker allowed just one run on eight hits over 8 1/3 innings, keeping his six-game winning streak alive. Parker struck out six and walked one, but his streak of allowing six or fewer hits ended at 16 starts.

"He pitched great," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "To pitch like that and get that deep in a game and only give up one run, you are going to win that game a lot more times than not."

Former A's first baseman Chris Carter broke up a scoreless game in the top of the seventh, crushing a leadoff home run to left field. Carter hit Parker's first pitch, a 92 mph fastball, for his team-high 22nd home run of the season.

The A's answered with a run in the bottom of the seventh off Astros reliever Philip Humber. After Yoenis Cespedes hit a leadoff single, Brandon Moss brought him home with a double to left-center.

NOTES: A's CF Coco Crisp (strained left wrist) received a cortisone injection Tuesday night and was out of the lineup Wednesday for the third straight game. Crisp aggravated the wrist injury Sunday at Toronto when he made a diving catch. ... A's C John Jaso (concussion) received good news and bad from Dr. Michael Collins, a concussion specialist who examined him Tuesday in Pittsburgh. "He said he is going to be fully recovered from this," Melvin said. "It's just not at this point, and it's going to take some time."... Astros LHP Travis Blackley was traded to the Rangers for a player to be named and cash considerations. Blackley was with Triple-A Oklahoma City after being designated for assignment Aug. 8. The Rangers assigned him to Triple-A Round Rock. ... Melvin was ejected from the game in the bottom of the eighth inning while arguing a call at third base.
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