Houston at Oakland

W: J. Chavez (8-6) L: B. Peacock (3-7) S: S. Doolittle (15)
HR: HOU - None   OAK - J. Lowrie (5),Y. Cespedes (15),Y. Cespedes (16)

Cespedes goes deep twice, Athletics fend off Astros

CBSSports.com wire reports

OAKLAND, Calif. -- What should have been a runaway victory for the Oakland Athletics ended with questions and concerns.

Yoenis Cespedes hit two home runs and tied a career high with five RBI before leaving with a sprained right thumb. Brandon Moss got a painful stinger to his left bicep, and reliever Jim Johnson had another meltdown on the mound as the A's held off the Houston Astros 9-7 on Wednesday night.

Cespedes and Johnson left the clubhouse without speaking to reporters. And Moss said he should be fine after Jose Altuve ran through his tag at first base on a misfired throw.

But the aftershocks of the A's latest victory might still be felt at the Coliseum come Thursday.

Cespedes, the two-time reigning Home Run Derby champion, has had several hand and wrist injuries in his 2½ seasons in the majors. A's manager Bob Melvin said the slugger hurt his thumb when he fell following an awkward swing on a groundout in the fifth.

X-rays on Cespedes' thumb were negative, Melvin said.

Cespedes showed just how valuable he is to the A's by hitting a three-run drive in the second inning and a two-run shot in the fourth off Brad Peacock (3-7) for his 15th and 16th home runs this season. He snapped a 25-game skid -- matching his career high -- since his last long ball June 19 against Boston.

Cespedes was replaced in left field with the A's leading 8-1 in the seventh. But the Astros almost pulled off an improbable comeback, scoring five runs in the eighth before the back of Oakland's bullpen shut them down.

Jesse Chavez (8-6) allowed two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings to help the A's (62-38) extend the best record in baseball. He struck out seven and walked two.

Johnson, who signed a $10 million, one-year deal with Oakland after saving 50 games for Baltimore last season, entered with the A's leading 9-2 in the eighth. He gave up four runs -- three earned -- without recording an out to spark Houston's five-run inning. He has a 6.92 ERA and left to a smattering of boos again.

"It's tough, because you root for a guy like that," said A's shortstop Jed Lowrie, who hit his fifth home run. "He's working really hard. Sometimes this game isn't fair."

Luke Gregerson stranded two runners on base in the eighth, and Sean Doolittle recorded his 15th save in 18 tries with a perfect ninth.

Chavez, who had not started since July 12 at Seattle before the All-Star break, looked sharp at the outset. He did not allow a hit until Matt Dominguez lined a single to left with one out in the fifth.

"I felt good. I think the fifth inning caught up to me a little bit," Chavez said. "But overall, a good start to the second half."

The A's got all the support they needed in only three swings.

Lowrie led off Oakland's second with a home run, and Cespedes busted the game open by sending a slider from Peacock over the wall in center. In the fourth, Cespedes pulled a curveball into the stands in left to put the A's up 7-0.

It was Cespedes' fifth career two-homer game and first since June 4 at the New York Yankees. It also was the third time he has had five RBI in a game -- all this year.

Peacock, who was traded to Houston in February 2013 as part of the deal that landed Lowrie in Oakland, was charged with seven runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

"I have to find a way to slow myself down," Peacock said. "I had one good inning. The bullpen did a great job of keeping it right there."


Athletics RF Josh Reddick had two hits and a walk in first start since coming off the disabled list. ... Athletics INF Alberto Callaspo (right hamstring) could begin a rehab assignment in the next day or so and come off the disabled list Sunday. ... The Astros placed rookie OF George Springer on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left quadriceps and recalled outfielder Marc Krauss from Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... The A's said they raised $29,189 for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation during the team's annual Root Beer Float Day, bringing the 15-year total to more than $414,000. ... Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 3.27 ERA) takes the mound for Oakland against Scott Feldman (4-7, 4.30 ERA) and the Astros in Thursday's series finale.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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After hitting two home runs, Yoenis Cespedes hurts his thumb while falling during his fourth at-bat.  (USATSI)
After hitting two home runs, Yoenis Cespedes hurts his thumb while falling during his fourth at-bat. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

Y. Cespedes
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2

J. Castro
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 0

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May 23, 2017
MLB Power Rankings (5/23) (1:51)
Houston Astros
Jose Altuve, 2B5110024.337.372.441
Jason Castro, C5220010.225.296.369
Chris Carter, DH4111111.212.288.473
Marc Krauss, LF4111002.175.271.307
   a-Jesus Guzman, PH1000010.201.279.273
Jon Singleton, 1B4112010.184.269.349
Matt Dominguez, 3B4110013.239.285.371
Robbie Grossman, RF-CF3011100.203.322.311
Enrique Hernandez, CF-SS4021010.310.375.431
Marwin Gonzalez, SS3001010.275.327.399
   L.J. Hoes, RF1000012.176.233.306
Brad Peacock, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jake Buchanan, P0000000.000.000.000
   Josh Zeid, P0000000.000.000.000
   Darin Downs, P0000000.000.000.000
a-struck out for Krauss in the 9th
2B - Chris Carter (17, Johnson), Jon Singleton (7, J. Chavez)
RBI - Chris Carter (44), Marc Krauss (15), Jon Singleton 2 (23), Robbie Grossman (16), Enrique Hernandez (6), Marwin Gonzalez (14)
2-OUT RBI - Jon Singleton (8)
Team LOB - 6
Houston Astros
Brad Peacock (L,3-7) 3.2777523 4.93
Jake Buchanan 3.1522220 7.27
Josh Zeid 0.1100000 5.49
Darin Downs 0.2000000 5.04
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Peacock 89-52, Jake Buchanan 67-40, Josh Zeid 9-4, Darin Downs 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Peacock 3-6, Jake Buchanan 7-1, Darin Downs 1-1
Batters Faced - Brad Peacock 23, Jake Buchanan 17, Josh Zeid 2, Darin Downs 2
Oakland Athletics
Coco Crisp, CF2100312.278.380.425
John Jaso, C3132100.289.365.469
   Derek Norris, C0000000.293.396.481
Yoenis Cespedes, LF4225004.254.305.460
   Craig Gentry, LF1001000.271.330.307
Brandon Moss, 1B5010024.265.344.519
Josh Donaldson, 3B3010211.242.321.456
Stephen Vogt, DH5010006.355.386.516
Jed Lowrie, SS4111001.238.318.351
Josh Reddick, RF4320101.232.300.362
Eric Sogard, 2B4120001.201.267.232
Jesse Chavez, P0000000.000.000.000
   Ryan Cook, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jim Johnson, P0000000.000.000.000
   Dan Otero, P0000000.000.000.000
   Luke Gregerson, P0000000.000.000.000
   Sean Doolittle, P0000000.000.000.000
2B - John Jaso (16, Peacock), Josh Reddick (4, Buchanan)
HR - Yoenis Cespedes 2 (16, Peacock), Jed Lowrie (5, Peacock)
SF - John Jaso (2)
SH - Jed Lowrie (2)
RBI - John Jaso 2 (33), Yoenis Cespedes 5 (61), Craig Gentry (10), Jed Lowrie (39)
2-OUT RBI - John Jaso (11)
Team LOB - 11
E - Josh Donaldson (18, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
Jesse Chavez (W,8-6) 5.2422270 3.14
Ryan Cook 1.1000010 2.84
Jim Johnson 0443000 6.92
Dan Otero 0.1211000 2.41
Luke Gregerson (H,16) 0.2000010 2.01
Sean Doolittle (S,15) 1000010 2.70
Pitches-Strikes - Jesse Chavez 101-60, Ryan Cook 15-11, Jim Johnson 11-7, Dan Otero 13-9, Luke Gregerson 9-7, Sean Doolittle 10-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jesse Chavez 3-7, Ryan Cook 1-2, Dan Otero 1-1, Luke Gregerson 1-0
Batters Faced - Jesse Chavez 23, Ryan Cook 4, Jim Johnson 4, Dan Otero 4, Luke Gregerson 2, Sean Doolittle 3
Game Information
Attendance - 28310
Game Time - 3:30
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Adam Hamari