Astros hang on as A's rally falls short

Eric Gilmore, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Jordan Lyles was in the clubhouse after pitching seven strong innings Tuesday night, watching on television as his Houston Astros teammates put the finishing touches on a 5-4 win over Oakland A's.
No one would have blamed Lyles if he covered his eyes.
Lyles left with a 5-1 lead, but the A's rallied for three runs in the eighth, getting a two-run home run from Yoenis Cespedes off reliever Josh Zeid. Then in the ninth, with a runner on first and two outs, Oakland's Chris Young sent a shot deep down the left field line off reliever Chia-Jen Lo that had home run distance but was ruled foul. Minutes later, the umpires left the field to review the play on video.
"It was pretty nerve-racking," Lyles said. "I was able to see it a couple times on replay. ... We knew it was going to be OK, but you never know. But it was definitely nerve-racking. It's much more nerve-racking to watch a game that you stated, once you have no control over it."
After further review, the call stood. Young returned to the plate, facing an 0-2 count. Lo struck him out swinging on a 95 mph fastball, securing his first save and preserving Lyles' first win since June 18, when he beat the Milwaukee Brewers.
"I thought it was going to stay true," Young said. "From my point of view I thought it was fair. That's how the game goes sometimes. It goes from extremely crappy to amazing to unbelievable to crappy again."
Lyles (5-6) snapped his personal five-game losing streak, and the Astros ended a six-game overall skid with their first victory in franchise history at the Coliseum. Going into the game, the Astros had been winless in six games at Oakland, including three this season. The A's won 11 of the first 12 games in the season series this year before the last-place Astros exacted a bit of revenge Tuesday.
"These guys have played well against us," Astros manager Bo Porter said of the A's. "We had some games in which we played well but weren't able to close them out. That's why it was big tonight to be able to close out tonight's game."
Lyles held the A's to one run on five hits over seven innings, striking out three and walking two.
"It's nice to come out here and get seven innings," Lyles said. "I haven't done that in a while. Really, it just goes back to Jason (Castro) calling a great game. I was just following his lead, pounding the ball down in the zone."
A's right-hander Bartolo Colon (14-5) suffered his second straight rough loss. Colon, who turned 40 on May 24, gave up five runs on seven hits against the Astros, pitching just four innings. Colon's previous start was even worse. He lasted a season-low 2 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on seven hits in a 6-5 loss to Cincinnati.
Colon's ERA has jumped from 2.50 to 2.97 in just two starts, and he continues to pay for a recent drop in velocity.
"I felt better than the last outing, but I feel bad at the same time because my command wasn't the best tonight," Colon said. "After having 15 good outings, I don't think too much about it. Now is the bad moment."
The A's remained one game behind the first-place Texas Rangers, a 5-1 loser to Milwaukee, in the AL West.
The Astros pounded out 11 hits, including two doubles by Brandon Barnes and one double apiece by Matt Dominguez, Chris Carter and Jose Altuve. Castro extended his career-high hitting streak to 11 games, going 1-for-3. He sat out the previous two games due to a sore hip.
The Astros struck for two runs in the second, two in the third and one in the fourth against Colon, building a 5-0 lead.
Lo was the Astros' third pitcher in the eighth inning, following Zeid and Kevin Chapman. Lo retired Donaldson on a fly ball for the third out in the eighth, stranding a runner, then survived a scary ninth.
"Sitting from our dugout, it definitely looked foul," Porter said of Young's deep fly. "But anytime they go in to review it, you're not too sure. It was foul, and I'm glad Lo was able to close it out."
NOTES: After the game, Houston optioned RHP Jorge De Leon to Triple-A Oklahoma City and recalled INF Marwin Gonzalez from Oklahoma City. ... A's LHP Brett Anderson (right foot stress fracture, sprained right ankle) will begin a rehab assignment Saturday at Triple-A Sacramento. He'll pitch two innings of relief, A's manager Bob Melvin said. Melvin said he's leaning toward using Anderson as a reliever initially when he's activated from the disabled list. ... A's C John Jaso, who has been on the DL since July 25, was examined Tuesday in Pittsburgh by Dr. Michael Collins, a concussion specialist. Jaso played catch briefly last week but still felt concussion symptoms, Melvin said. ... A's CF Coco Crisp (sore left wrist) was out of the lineup for the second straight game but pinch-ran in the eighth. ... Oakland C Derek Norris (back spasms) missed his second straight game but was available off the bench.

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