Oakland at Houston

W: A. Griffin (9-7) L: T. Blackley (1-1) S: R. Cook (2)
HR: OAK - J. Jaso (3),C. Crisp (10)   HOU - J. Altuve (4),C. Corporan (6)

Athletics 4, Astros 3

CBSSports.com wire reports

HOUSTON -- The Oakland Athletics weren't concerned when they were down by two runs entering the seventh inning on Wednesday against the Houston Astros.

They hit three homers after the seventh inning in the first two games of the series combined and saw no reason their late flashes of power would stop in this one.

Coco Crisp hit a two-run homer in Oakland's three-run seventh inning to help the Athletics to a 4-3 win over the Astros on Wednesday.

"What it does is it gives us the confidence that we can come back," manager Bob Melvin said of the late homers. "And then we know that when we get a guy on base we're one hit away from being in a better position than we were."

The A's trailed by two before an RBI double by Eric Sogard with one out cut the deficit to 3-2 and chased starter Bud Norris. Crisp launched his home run off Travis Blackley (1-1) to the Crawford Boxes in left field to put Oakland on top.

"I don't think we rely on home runs, we just got up there and battle," Crisp said. "It just so happens that's how this series broke down. We just go out there and battle and try to manufacture runs in any way that we can."

Blackley was disappointed that he didn't execute against Crisp.

"I just didn't do my job," he said. "I got ahead like I was trying to do and I just left one about three inches too high and he did his job well and took care of it."

John Jaso had a solo homer in the first inning for the A's, who have won 11 of 12 against Houston this season. It was the 21st win for Oakland in a one-run game which is the most in the American League.

A.J. Griffin (9-7) allowed six hits and three runs and tied a season-high with eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings for the win.

"I felt like I had the best stuff I've had this year," he said. "My lanes were good to the plate with all my pitches. I felt like I was doing a good job of keeping my delivery the same for every pitch and keeping them off-balance for the most part. That was the most locked in I've felt in a long time, pretty much all year."

He continued to be plagued by the long ball though, giving up two more on Wednesday to give him 23 this season which is tied for second-most in the majors.

He joked about adding to his home run total.

"That's pretty me, I guess," he said.

Jose Altuve tied it at 1 with a homer in the fourth inning and Carlos Corporan's two-run homer gave Houston a 3-1 lead in the sixth.

Norris yielded four hits and three runs with seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. It could be the last start for Norris as an Astro at Minute Maid Park with the trade deadline approaching and Houston embarking on a 10-game road trip.

As the highest paid player on this rebuilding team with a $3 million salary, Norris, who has spent his entire career with the Astros, has been the subject of trade speculation.

"It's something that I prepared myself for last night and the days leading up to it," Norris said. "So it definitely was a little emotional and the fans really knew about it too which was pretty special. I just went out there and threw a good ball game as best I could and gave my team a chance to win. Unfortunately it was a tough one."

Norris pitched better than he had in his last two tough starts where he allowed 17 hits and 13 runs combined in two losses.

The Astros had a chance to tie it in the eighth inning with runners at first and second and one out. But Jesse Chavez retired Corporan before Ryan Cook came in and got Brett Wallace on a flyout to end the threat. Cook remained in for the ninth and got his second save.

Jaso's homer to with one out in the first inning gave Oakland a 1-0 lead. Norris got right back on track after that and struck out Josh Donaldson and Jed Lowrie to end the inning.

Griffin didn't allow a hit until Marc Krauss singled with two outs in the third inning. Altuve opened Houston's fourth with his fourth home run of the season to tie it.

Jason Castro hit a double with one-out in the sixth before Corporan's two-out shot to the seats in right field put Houston up 3-1.

Norris had retired seven in a row before Jaso walked to start the sixth inning. Norris then plunked Josh Donaldson, but he escaped the jam by sitting down the next three batters, ending the inning by striking out Brandon Moss.

Yoenis Cespedes was back in the lineup after not starting five games because of a sore left wrist and hit a single in the second inning. The Home Run Derby champ made his first appearance since the All-Star break as a pinch-hitter on Tuesday night.


Jaso was replaced at catcher by Derek Norris for the eighth inning after taking a ball off his mask. He had a headache and Melvin said he would be monitored for possible symptoms of a concussion. ... Oakland selected INF Adam Rosales from Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday and designated INF Vinnie Catricala for assignment. ... Oakland's Dan Straily (6-3) is scheduled to pitch against Los Angeles left-hander C.J. Wilson (10-6) when the A's open a four-game series with the Angels.

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Players of the Game

J. Jaso
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

J. Altuve
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Oakland Athletics
Coco Crisp, CF5112010 .260
John Jaso, C3121110 .271
   Derek Norris, C1000000 .204
Josh Donaldson, 3B2000220 .307
Jed Lowrie, SS4000015 .283
Yoenis Cespedes, LF4010002 .227
Brandon Moss, 1B4000013 .232
Josh Reddick, RF4010011 .216
Seth Smith, DH2100211 .252
Eric Sogard, 2B4111022 .263
2B - John Jaso (12, Norris), Josh Reddick (13, Wright), Eric Sogard (17, Norris)
HR - Coco Crisp (10, Blackley), John Jaso (3, Norris)
RBI - Coco Crisp 2 (38), John Jaso (21), Eric Sogard (16)
Team LOB - 8
Oakland Athletics
A.J. Griffin (W,9-7) 6.1633082 3.84
Jerry Blevins (H,4) 0.2000010 3.38
Jesse Chavez (H,1) 0.2100110 2.91
Ryan Cook (S,2) 1.1000010 2.25
HBP - Corporan (by A.J. Griffin)
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Griffin 95-66, Jerry Blevins 8-7, Jesse Chavez 19-10, Ryan Cook 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Griffin 6-5, Jerry Blevins 1-0, Ryan Cook 2-1
Batters Faced - A.J. Griffin 26, Jerry Blevins 2, Jesse Chavez 4, Ryan Cook 4
Houston Astros
Jonathan Villar, SS4000022 .333
Jose Altuve, 2B4121010 .282
Jason Castro, DH4110010 .264
Chris Carter, LF3000121 .223
Carlos Corporan, C3112011 .273
Brett Wallace, 1B4010013 .210
Justin Maxwell, CF4000031 .238
Matt Dominguez, 3B4010000 .231
Marc Krauss, RF2010001 .175
   a-Jake Elmore, PH-RF2000000 .269
a-grounded out for Krauss in the 7th
2B - Jason Castro (27, Griffin)
HR - Jose Altuve (4, Griffin), Carlos Corporan (6, Griffin)
RBI - Jose Altuve (32), Carlos Corporan 2 (15)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Corporan 2 (8)
SB - Jose Altuve (24, 2nd base off J. Chavez/Norris)
Team LOB - 6
Houston Astros
Bud Norris 6.1433371 3.93
Travis Blackley (L,1-1; BS,1) 0.1111011 5.23
Hector Ambriz 0.2000100 5.55
Wesley Wright 0.2100110 4.14
Jose Veras 1000010 3.05
HBP - Donaldson (by Bud Norris)
Pitches-Strikes - Bud Norris 119-72, Travis Blackley 5-5, Hector Ambriz 11-6, Wesley Wright 17-9, Jose Veras 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bud Norris 3-9, Hector Ambriz 1-1, Wesley Wright 1-0, Jose Veras 2-0
Batters Faced - Bud Norris 27, Travis Blackley 2, Hector Ambriz 3, Wesley Wright 4, Jose Veras 3
Game Information
Attendance - 24831
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Jordan Baker, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Marvin Hudson