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A's improve to 10-0 vs. Astros this season

The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- The Oakland Athletics continue to find ways to defeat the Houston Astros.

Josh Reddick put the A's ahead with a two-run homer in the eighth, and the Oakland bullpen did the rest as the A's overcame three errors to defeat Houston 4-3 Monday night.

Oakland (58-41) improved to 10-0 this season against the Astros and have now won 12 straight against Houston dating back to 2007.

Reddick's blast to right off Wesley Wright (0-4) in the eighth capped a comeback from a 3-0 deficit for the A's. Chris Young hit a solo home run in the seventh off Travis Blackley and also had a triple.

Oakland manager Bob Melvin said the A's played ugly for the first five innings in which they committed the three errors, but stayed with it.

"Once we got on the board and started putting more runners on base, we always put ourselves in a position for a couple good swings to get back in it based on the fact that we usually have guys on base, and that was the case again tonight," Melvin said. Reddick said overcoming a bad start to win is something that the A's have done over the past year and a half.

"Going back to last year it didn't matter if we were down by one or down by five, we felt like we had a chance to come back and didn't give up until the end of the game," Reddick said. "That's what we did tonight to come back and take advantage of some big opportunities. Chris Young picked us up really well and fortunately I was able to get us over the edge."

The Astros, who own the worst record in the majors at 33-65, have now lost six in a row and nine of the last 10.

"This is definitely a ballgame we feel that we should have won," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "We put ourselves in position to win early, getting the lead, and I just feel that late in the game we did not execute the right pitches that we needed to make to close it out."

Wright said he liked the pitch called on the Reddick homer, but the execution could have been better.

"It's one of those things where we've been right there on the cusp all season and as for myself, I've let a couple of games get away myself, in situations where I feel I should have gotten the job done," he said. "I feel awful for Dallas (Keuchel) and those guys. They gave us a chance to win the game, and I didn't get the job done."

Oakland loaded the bases with one out in the sixth but was only able to cut the lead to 3-1 with a Grant Green sacrifice fly, scoring Josh Donaldson, who had singled to start the inning. Keuchel struck out Seth Smith to end the threat.

A's reliever Ryan Cook (3-2) struck out two in a perfect seventh before Sean Doolittle threw the eighth and Grant Balfour pitched the ninth for his 26th save. Oakland pitchers did not allow a hit after the fourth, with Jose Altuve being the only baserunner after reaching on a walk in the eighth.

Keuchel allowed one run on five hits with five strikeouts and four walks in six innings.

"I fought hard and got lucky there (for) a few innings," Keuchel said. "That's a good team, and they are a good team for a reason, and I felt lucky to escape with only one run."

A's starter Tommy Milone allowed three runs -- two earned -- on five hits with five strikeouts in six innings. He sent down eight of the last nine batters he faced, including the last seven in a row.

Milone said he was able to command the zone better and attack hitters after the fourth inning.

"I feel like that's not something that I was doing the first couple of innings," Milone said. "I was trying to miss bats and make them hit the ball on the ground or whatever instead of just throwing my pitches and letting them do what they're going to do."

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the second as Justin Maxwell doubled to left, stole third and scored on an error by Jed Lowrie that allowed J.D. Martinez to reach first.

Chris Carter extended Houston's lead to 2-0 with an RBI single in the third, scoring Jonathan Villar, who led off the inning with a bunt single for his first career hit and then stole second.

Carter came around to score from first to make it 3-0 as a Maxwell pop-up to shallow right center field fell between four Oakland players. Maxwell wound up at second on the play, which was ruled an error by second baseman Grant Green.

NOTES: Villar, who was making his major league debut after being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday, started and batted first for the Astros. He went 1-for-4 and scored a run. ... Houston will recall RHP Jarred Cosart on Tuesday to make his second major league start against Oakland. ... 1B Carlos Pena's designation for assignment will become effective Tuesday when the Astros recall Cosart. ... Oakland entered the game leading the American League with 19 one-run wins.
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