OAKLAND –- The A’s and Astros combined for four homers and 15 runs Sunday.
And that was just from the sixth inning on.
The offense came fast and furious in the latter stages of Monday’s holiday matchup, and the A’s needed all of those runs to hold on for a 10-9 victory over first-place Houston.
When the A’s batted around in a six-run sixth to take an 8-2 lead, it seemed a ‘W’ might be in the bank. Not to be, as their bullpen unintentionally kept the suspense going in a game that clocked in at three hours, 53 minutes despite no bottom of the ninth being played.
A three-run homer from Carlos Correa in the seventh pulled the Astros to within two runs, 8-6. After the A’s extended their lead on Josh Phegley’s two-run homer, Jake Marisnick’s two-run shot off Drew Pomeranz in the eighth narrowed the A’s lead to 10-9.
It took Sean Doolittle’s first appearance in a closing situation this season to finally nail it down. The lefty turned in a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his first save of an injury-marred 2015 season. It was at least a crowd-pleasing way for the A’s to snap a five-game losing streak.
Starting pitching report
Felix Doubront was decent enough over six-plus innings. He gave up single runs in the first and second but then held the Astros in check until the A’s broke through with their six-run rally to take an 8-2 lead. Returning to the mound with a big lead, Doubront (3-1) gave up Jonathan Villar’s second-deck homer to lead off the seventh and was pulled after one more hitter. He wound up charged with four runs, one of which came on a three-run homer that Carlos Correa hit off Fernando Rodriguez.
It wouldn’t have been the A’s way to just put this one away uneventfully after they jumped ahead six runs. Rodriguez, a former Astro, entered an 8-3 game in the seventh and gave up Correa’s homer. Then Marisnick’s two-run shot off Pomeranz made things a little too close for comfort for the home crowd.
At the plate
It was Coco Crisp, of all people, who really got the A’s six-run rally going, snapping a 2-2 tie. His bases-loaded double scored and put the A’s ahead 4-2. They wouldn’t trail again. Crisp, still bothered by a hip injury, has delivered a pinch-hit base hit in the past four games he’s played in. Phegley’s two-run homer wound up being huge. Mark Canha also homered and had two RBI.
In the field
Brett Lawrie’s dropped pop fly led to all three runs being unearned against Pomeranz in the eighth.
The announced turnout was 22,214.
Scott Kazmir (7-9, 2.50) faces his former team for the first time since his July 23 trade from the A’s. He’ll oppose an old buddy, Sonny Gray (12-7, 2.36), in an entertaining matchup Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.