- Associated Press - Saturday, September 6, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The Houston Astros had the lead in the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics, so they gave the ball to closer Chad Qualls.

Bad idea.

Qualls surrendered a game-ending RBI single by Jed Lowrie, sending the Astros to a 4-3 loss on Saturday.

Josh Reddick hit a two-run double off Qualls (1-5) before Lowrie drove him in with a single to left. Oakland is hitting .571 (16 for 28) against Qualls this year.

“It’s been happening all year, I’m tired of it,” Qualls said. “Four of my five losses are against them. Four of my five blown saves are against them. I’m over it. There’s pretty much nothing to write.”



Lowrie, Josh Reddick and Coco Crisp had two hits apiece as Oakland snapped a three-game losing streak. Josh Donaldson started the A’s three-run ninth with a leadoff single, stopping an 0-for-15 slide.

Luke Gregerson (4-3) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.

“We were looking a spark,” Lowrie said. “I think that’s the type of play that can start something big.”

The Astros had won five in a row.

Houston wasted a solid start by Scott Feldman, who was charged with three runs, two earned, and seven hits in 8 1-3 innings. The right-hander is 4-2 with a 2.91 ERA in his last eight starts, including two complete games.

“He was good, he was mixing his pitches, he was going in and out,” Astros manager Tom Lawless said. “He had them off stride. It’s tough for him because he did such a nice job.”

The Astros grabbed a 2-1 lead on Jose Altuve’s two-run double in the sixth against Scott Kazmir. Altuve extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games and leads major league baseball with a .340 batting average and 197 hits.

The All-Star second baseman has hit safely in 22 straight games against the A’s and in 34 of 37 contests against Oakland in his career.

Kazmir gave up three runs and three hits in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out eight and walked five.

Brandon Moss’ sacrifice fly in the third gave Oakland a 1-0 lead. But Houston increased its advantage to 3-1 on Robbie Grossman’s sacrifice fly in the sixth.

BONDS VISITS ASTROS

Home run king Barry Bonds watched Astros batting practice from behind the cage as a guest of outfielder Dexter Fowler, and spent most of his time giving tips to Houston first baseman Jon Singleton.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: Lawless said outfielder Alex Presley (right oblique strain) is expected to start Sunday and play five innings, marking his first extended action since returning from the disabled list Tuesday.

Athletics: Closer Sean Doolittle (intercostal strain) played long toss and is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Monday in Chicago. … Catcher Stephen Vogt (sprained left ankle) wore a walking boot in the clubhouse and will be sidelined for “a little while,” according to manager Bob Melvin. … C John Jaso (concussion) is on track to be activated from the disabled list soon but likely won’t be catching.

UP NEXT

Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (10-9, 3.03 ERA) has pitched at least seven innings in seven of his past eight starts.

Athletics: RHP Jason Hammel (2-5, 4.98 ERA) is 2-1 with a 2.40 ERA his past five outings after going 0-4 with a 9.53 ERA in his first four starts with the A’s.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide