Cahill sharp, A’s beat Astros 7-1 to tie for AL West lead
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Trevor Cahill pitched one-hit ball for seven shutout innings and the Oakland Athletics, far behind in the AL West standings earlier this summer, tied Houston for the division lead by beating the Astros 7-1 Saturday.
Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Josh Phegley and Stephen Piscotty each hit two of Oakland’s team record-tying doubles as the A’s won for the sixth time in seven games. The Athletics trailed the defending World Series champion Astros by 11 ½ games on June 24 and were still 10 out on July 10.
Houston has lost seven of eight and dropped 12 of 19 since owning a six-game lead on July 24. The next day, reigning AL MVP Jose Altuve went on the disabled list, and the star second baseman is still out.
Cahill (5-2) allowed only an infield single by Yuli Gurriel in the second inning. The right-hander struck out seven, walked one and retired 14 straight batters during one stretch.
Cahill improved to 4-0 over his last six starts, his longest winning streak in five years. He also has won 10 decisions in a row at the Coliseum.
Tony Kemp homered in the ninth for Houston’s only other hit.
Phegley had three RBIs and Davis drove in two
Dallas Keuchel (9-10) gave up five runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. It’s the most runs he’s allowed since giving up six against Toronto on June 27, a span of nine starts.
The A’s matched their best record after 123 games since 1992 and are 25 games over .500 for the first time since Aug. 14, 2014. They’re now 15-1-2 over their previous 18 series dating to June 15.
Houston’s Alex Bregman walked to lead off the seventh inning, extending his on-base streak to 38 consecutive road games, the longest such active streak in the majors.
Oakland’s Matt Chapman went 0 for 4, ending his 14-game hitting streak and 30-game on-base streak.
The Athletics honored members of the 2002 team that set an American League record 20-game winning streak and was featured in the movie, “Moneyball.” Scott Hatteberg, who hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth for the record-setting 20th win on Sept. 4, always felt then-manager Art Howe got a bum deal in the movie. “The story is seen through Hollywood and they needed a villain. He was not that guy,” Hatteberg said Saturday. “He was never too high or too low. That season was chock full of memories and he was not one for speeches. He stayed calm and that helped us play better.” Howe sent a video message acknowledging the team and fans.
PERPLEXED AND PUZZLED
Astros manager A.J. Hinch is still not convinced that Ramon Laureano was safe at home in the bottom of the ninth Friday night, despite the play being reversed by reply. “Until I see something with his hand on the plate without the tag I’m not going to like it,” he said before Saturday’s game. “I don’t know fully what they have but we trust they have something because they have to. It feels pretty hollow.” Laureano scored the tying ruin and the A’s won 4-3 on Olson’s homer in the 10th.
Astros: RHP Chris Devenki struck out three and allowed two hits in a scoreless inning at Triple-A Fresno on Friday night in his second rehab appearance . . . C Brian McCann was 1 for 4 in his first rehab appearance with the Grizzlies on Thursday night as the DH . . . Altuve is scheduled to start a rehab assignment on Sunday in Tacoma and is expected to rejoin the team next week in Seattle.
Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (11-8, 2.52) goes for Houston in the series finale against the A’s on Sunday.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manea (11-8, 3.44) takes the mound for Oakland in its series finale against the Astros on Sunday.