Olson, Athletics top Astros 3-2, take over AL wild-card lead

HOUSTON (AP) The Oakland Athletics left Houston feeling pretty good on Thursday night after taking three of four games from the imposing Astros as they look to lock down a playoff spot.

Matt Olson hit a two-run homer to back a solid start by Homer Bailey and the Athletics beat the Astros 3-2 to take over the AL wild-card lead.

Oakland shook off a 15-0 loss in the opener of this four-game series to win three in a row, beating Cy Young Award front-runner Justin Verlander in the finale.

The A's moved a half-game ahead of Tampa Bay atop the AL wild-card standings. Cleveland is one game behind Oakland.

''We played well against them at our place and this is probably the toughest place in the American League to play,'' manager Bob Melvin said. ''To be able to come in and take three out of four and do it in different fashions every night, yeah, it felt good.''

The Athletics got Verlander (18-6) for three runs in the first three innings before he settled in to pitch three scoreless frames.

Bailey (13-8) yielded three hits and one run in 5 1/3 innings to win his fourth straight decision. He matched his career high in wins set in 2012 with Cincinnati.

''We pulled it out, won the series,'' Bailey said. ''We've been playing so good against these guys and also New York, and it just goes on further to show that we believe that we can play with any team in this league.''

It was a much better outing than in his first start against Houston this season when the Astros jumped on him for eight hits and nine runs - both season highs - in just two innings of an 11-1 loss on July 22.

The Astros missed opportunities in both the eighth and ninth innings to tie it or take the lead on a night they went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

Jose Altuve's solo home run off Yusmeiro Petit got Houston within a run with one out in the eighth inning. The Astros loaded the bases with two outs but Blake Treinen struck out rookie Kyle Tucker to leave everyone stranded.

Houston had runners on first and third with two outs in the ninth, but Liam Hendriks struck out Michael Brantley for his 21st save.

The Athletics tagged Verlander right away in his second start since tossing his third career no-hitter on Aug. 1. Marcus Semien singled on his first pitch and he struck out the next two batters before Mark Canha walked. Seth Brown gave Oakland an early lead with an RBI double to left field.

It was Semien who got things going again in the third with a leadoff single. An out later, Olson extended his career high by hitting 32nd home run this season and third of the series to make it 3-0.

''They had a good game plan and really had some good at-bats,'' Verlander said. ''With that being said, I really only regret one pitch, to Olson. I yanked a fastball down and in and he put a good swing on it.''

Manager AJ Hinch isn't surprised to see the A's playing so well.

''They're here to stay,'' he said. ''They're a really good team. They put pressure on you from the beginning. From the first pitch from (Verlander), they just keep coming at you. They've got a ton of relievers, some good young kids so they're no secret around here.''

Verlander, who leads the AL with a 2.58 ERA, allowed five hits and three runs with 11 strikeouts in six innings to snap a three-game winning streak. He is just 25 strikeouts shy of reaching 300 for the first time in a season and needs 19 Ks to become the 18th player in MLB history to collect 3,000 in his career.

Robinson Chirinos singled and Josh Reddick doubled to start the bottom of the third. The Astros cut the lead to 3-1 when Chirinos scored on a groundout by George Springer.

The Astros had runners at first and second with no outs in the sixth after Bailey walked Altuve and Brantley. Bailey struck out Alex Bregman before he was replaced by Jake Diekman, who picked off Altuve as he tried to steal third base before striking out Alvarez to end the threat.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: SS Carlos Correa (sore lower back) will begin a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Round Rock on Friday.

THEY SAID IT

Verlander on the possibility of reaching 3,000 strikeouts this season: ''I'd be lying if I said I didn't know where I was at. It's kind of on the back burner, I guess. I'm aware of it. I try not to focus on it too much, but it'd be pretty cool to get to it this year, for sure.''

UP NEXT

Athletics: RHP Chris Bassitt (10-5, 3.64 ERA) will start for Oakland in the opener of a three-game series at Texas on Friday night. Bassitt is 5-1 with a 2.78 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break.

Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (16-5, 2.73) is scheduled to start for Houston in the first of three games with Kansas City on Friday. Cole, who leads the league with a career-high 281 strikeouts, allowed one hit and fanned 15 in a season-high eight innings of a 21-1 win over Seattle in his last start.

---

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123456789RHE
OAK87-60
102000000361
HOU95-53
001000010260
  • W: H. Bailey (13-8)L: J. Verlander (18-6)S: L. Hendriks (21)
  • HR: OAK - M. Olson (32), HOU - J. Altuve (27)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Semien SS42200010.282.363.509.8733.5
M. Chapman 3B40000042.251.345.510.855-2.0
M. Olson 1B41121031.274.358.557.9145.5
M. Canha CF30200100.273.394.515.9093.0
S. Brown LF30110111.370.431.565.9973.5
K. Davis DH40000044.220.287.380.667-2.0
J. Profar 2B40000012.215.297.412.709-0.5
S. Neuse 2B00000000.120.214.160.3740.0
R. Grossman RF40000010.247.339.357.696-0.5
R. Laureano RF00000000.282.334.513.8470.0
J. Phegley C30000020.243.287.416.702-1.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    G. Springer CF40010124.297.387.588.9751.0
    J. Altuve 2B41211113.304.363.553.9168.5
    M. Brantley LF40000115.321.380.519.8990.5
    A. Bregman SS30000113.294.415.575.9890.5
    Y. Alvarez DH40100011.315.409.6591.0690.5
    J. Marisnick PR-DH00000000.241.298.426.7240.0
    A. Diaz 1B-3B30000110.256.332.438.7690.5
    A. Toro-Hernandez 3B30000000.237.328.441.7690.0
    K. Tucker RF10000013.269.296.500.796-0.5
    R. Chirinos C21100201.237.345.444.7894.0
    M. Straw PR00000000.253.366.305.6710.0
    J. Reddick RF20100011.269.313.397.7091.5
    a- Y. Gurriel PH-1B20100011.305.350.546.8960.5
    G. Stubbs PR00000000.226.294.323.6170.0
    • a-struck out for Reddick in the 7th
    BATTING
    • 2B - S. Brown (5)
    • HR - M. Olson (32)
    • RBI - M. Olson 2 (81), S. Brown (10)
    • 2-Out RBI - S. Brown (4)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - S. Brown, K. Davis 2 (46), J. Profar (45)
    BATTING
    • 2B - J. Reddick (18)
    • HR - J. Altuve (27)
    • RBI - G. Springer (86), J. Altuve (66)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - G. Springer, M. Brantley 2 (44), A. Bregman (42), Y. Alvarez, K. Tucker 2 (5), Y. Gurriel
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - J. Altuve (6)
    • CS - J. Altuve (5)
    FIELDING
    • DP - (Profar-Semien-Olson)
    • E - M. Semien (12)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    H. Bailey (W, 13-8)5.13113404.761.3417.0
    J. Diekman (H, 28)1.10001104.871.382.5
    Y. Petit (H, 27)1.01111212.870.841.0
    A. Puk0.01000003.381.69-1.0
    B. Treinen (H, 3)0.10001104.681.58-0.5
    L. Hendriks (S, 21)1.01001201.610.969.0
    PITCHERSIP
    H. Bailey (W, 13-8)5.1
    J. Diekman (H, 28)1.1
    Y. Petit (H, 27)1.0
    A. Puk0.0
    B. Treinen (H, 3)0.1
    L. Hendriks (S, 21)1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Verlander (L, 18-6)6.053321112.580.7811.5
    J. Smith1.00000201.270.984.0
    J. James1.01000305.111.353.5
    R. Osuna1.00000102.950.883.5
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Verlander (L, 18-6)6.0
    J. Smith1.0
    J. James1.0
    R. Osuna1.0
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - H. Bailey 96-56, J. Diekman 18-9, Y. Petit 27-15, A. Puk 4-2, B. Treinen 12-6, L. Hendriks 19-12
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - H. Bailey 8-4, Y. Petit 1-0
    • Batters Faced - H. Bailey 22, J. Diekman 4, Y. Petit 5, A. Puk, B. Treinen 2, L. Hendriks 5
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 106-68, J. Smith 10-8, J. James 18-14, R. Osuna 10-8
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 2-5, R. Osuna 2-0
    • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 25, J. Smith 3, J. James 4, R. Osuna 3
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    OAK87-60
    102000000361
    HOU95-53
    001000010260
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Semien SS42200010.282.363.509.8733.5
    M. Chapman 3B40000042.251.345.510.855-2.0
    M. Olson 1B41121031.274.358.557.9145.5
    M. Canha CF30200100.273.394.515.9093.0
    S. Brown LF30110111.370.431.565.9973.5
    K. Davis DH40000044.220.287.380.667-2.0
    J. Profar 2B40000012.215.297.412.709-0.5
    S. Neuse 2B00000000.120.214.160.3740.0
    R. Grossman RF40000010.247.339.357.696-0.5
    R. Laureano RF00000000.282.334.513.8470.0
    J. Phegley C30000020.243.287.416.702-1.0
    Total33363121710-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      G. Springer CF40010124.297.387.588.9751.0
      J. Altuve 2B41211113.304.363.553.9168.5
      M. Brantley LF40000115.321.380.519.8990.5
      A. Bregman SS30000113.294.415.575.9890.5
      Y. Alvarez DH40100011.315.409.6591.0690.5
      J. Marisnick PR-DH00000000.241.298.426.7240.0
      A. Diaz 1B-3B30000110.256.332.438.7690.5
      A. Toro-Hernandez 3B30000000.237.328.441.7690.0
      K. Tucker RF10000013.269.296.500.796-0.5
      R. Chirinos C21100201.237.345.444.7894.0
      M. Straw PR00000000.253.366.305.6710.0
      J. Reddick RF20100011.269.313.397.7091.5
      a- Y. Gurriel PH-1B20100011.305.350.546.8960.5
      G. Stubbs PR00000000.226.294.323.6170.0
      Total32262171022-----
      • a-struck out for Reddick in the 7th
      BATTING
      • 2B - S. Brown (5)
      • HR - M. Olson (32)
      • RBI - M. Olson 2 (81), S. Brown (10)
      • 2-Out RBI - S. Brown (4)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - S. Brown, K. Davis 2 (46), J. Profar (45)
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Reddick (18)
      • HR - J. Altuve (27)
      • RBI - G. Springer (86), J. Altuve (66)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - G. Springer, M. Brantley 2 (44), A. Bregman (42), Y. Alvarez, K. Tucker 2 (5), Y. Gurriel
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - J. Altuve (6)
      • CS - J. Altuve (5)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Profar-Semien-Olson)
      • E - M. Semien (12)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      H. Bailey (W, 13-8)5.13113404.761.3417.0
      J. Diekman (H, 28)1.10001104.871.382.5
      Y. Petit (H, 27)1.01111212.870.841.0
      A. Puk0.01000003.381.69-1.0
      B. Treinen (H, 3)0.10001104.681.58-0.5
      L. Hendriks (S, 21)1.01001201.610.969.0
      Total9.06227101---
      PITCHERSIP
      H. Bailey (W, 13-8)5.1
      J. Diekman (H, 28)1.1
      Y. Petit (H, 27)1.0
      A. Puk0.0
      B. Treinen (H, 3)0.1
      L. Hendriks (S, 21)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Verlander (L, 18-6)6.053321112.580.7811.5
      J. Smith1.00000201.270.984.0
      J. James1.01000305.111.353.5
      R. Osuna1.00000102.950.883.5
      Total9.06332171---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Verlander (L, 18-6)6.0
      J. Smith1.0
      J. James1.0
      R. Osuna1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - H. Bailey 96-56, J. Diekman 18-9, Y. Petit 27-15, A. Puk 4-2, B. Treinen 12-6, L. Hendriks 19-12
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - H. Bailey 8-4, Y. Petit 1-0
      • Batters Faced - H. Bailey 22, J. Diekman 4, Y. Petit 5, A. Puk, B. Treinen 2, L. Hendriks 5
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Verlander 106-68, J. Smith 10-8, J. James 18-14, R. Osuna 10-8
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Verlander 2-5, R. Osuna 2-0
      • Batters Faced - J. Verlander 25, J. Smith 3, J. James 4, R. Osuna 3
      • 8TH INNING
        Altuve homered to left center32
      • 3RD INNING
        Springer grounded out to second, Chirinos scored, Reddick to third31
        Olson homered to right, Semien scored30
      • 1ST INNING
        Brown doubled to left, Semien scored, Canha to third10
      • 9TH INNING
        • Roberto Osuna relieved Josh James
        • K. Davis: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Davis struck out looking
        • J. Profar: Profar grounded out to third
        • R. Grossman: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Grossman grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Ramon Laureano in right field
        • Sheldon Neuse at second base
        • Liam Hendriks relieved Blake Treinen
        • R. Chirinos: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Chirinos walked
        • Myles Straw ran for Robinson Chirinos
        • Y. Gurriel: Pickoff attempt, Gurriel singled to right, Straw to second
        • Garrett Stubbs ran for Yuli Gurriel
        • G. Springer: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Springer struck out swinging
        • J. Altuve: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Altuve flied out to deep right, Straw to third
        • M. Brantley: Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike looking, Brantley struck out looking
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Kyle Tucker in right field
        • Josh James relieved Joe Smith
        • M. Chapman: Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Chapman struck out looking
        • M. Olson: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Olson struck out looking
        • M. Canha: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Canha singled to right
        • S. Brown: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Brown struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Y. Petit Pitching:
        • G. Springer: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Springer struck out swinging
        • J. Altuve: Ball, Altuve homered to left center
        • M. Brantley: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Brantley grounded out to third
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Bregman walked
        • A.J. Puk relieved Yusmeiro Petit
        • Y. Alvarez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Alvarez singled to left, Bregman to second
        • Jake Marisnick ran for Yordan Alvarez
        • Blake Treinen relieved A.J. Puk
        • A. Diaz: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Diaz walked, Bregman to third, Marisnick to second
        • K. Tucker: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Tucker struck out swinging
        • End of the 8th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Joe Smith relieved Justin Verlander
        • R. Grossman: Ball, Grossman lined out to left
        • J. Phegley: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Phegley struck out swinging
        • M. Semien: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Semien struck out looking
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Diekman Pitching:
        • A. Diaz: Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Diaz fouled out to first
        • A. Toro-Hernandez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Toro-Hernandez popped out to second
        • R. Chirinos: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Chirinos walked
        • Yuli Gurriel hit for Josh Reddick
        • Yusmeiro Petit relieved Jake Diekman
        • Y. Gurriel: Ball, Strike (foul tip), Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Gurriel struck out looking
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • S. Brown: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Brown flied out to deep center
        • K. Davis: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Davis struck out swinging
        • J. Profar: Foul, Foul, Profar grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • H. Bailey Pitching:
        • J. Altuve: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Altuve walked
        • M. Brantley: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Altuve stole second, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Brantley walked
        • A. Bregman: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Bregman struck out swinging
        • Jake Diekman relieved Homer Bailey
        • Y. Alvarez: Altuve caught stealing third, pitcher to third, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Alvarez struck out looking
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • M. Chapman: Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Chapman struck out swinging
        • M. Olson: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Olson struck out swinging
        • M. Canha: Ball, Canha flied out to deep right
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • H. Bailey Pitching:
        • A. Toro-Hernandez: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Toro-Hernandez safe at first on shortstop Semien throwing error
        • R. Chirinos: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Chirinos lined out to left
        • J. Reddick: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Reddick struck out swinging
        • G. Springer: Springer reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Toro-Hernandez out at second
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 1 Error)
      • 4TH INNING
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • R. Grossman: Ball, Ball, Grossman fouled out to first
        • J. Phegley: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Phegley struck out swinging
        • M. Semien: Ball, Ball, Semien fouled out to first
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • H. Bailey Pitching:
        • A. Bregman: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Bregman fouled out to first
        • Y. Alvarez: Ball, Alvarez grounded out to second
        • A. Diaz: Ball, Strike looking, Diaz grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • M. Semien: Semien singled to left
        • M. Chapman: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Chapman struck out swinging
        • M. Olson: Strike swinging, Olson homered to right, Semien scored
        • M. Canha: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Canha singled to center
        • S. Brown: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Brown walked, Canha to second
        • K. Davis: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Davis struck out swinging
        • J. Profar: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Profar grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 3rd (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • H. Bailey Pitching:
        • R. Chirinos: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Chirinos singled to right center
        • J. Reddick: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Reddick doubled to deep right, Chirinos to third
        • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Springer grounded out to second, Chirinos scored, Reddick to third
        • J. Altuve: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Altuve struck out swinging
        • M. Brantley: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Brantley grounded out to first
        • End of the 3rd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • J. Profar: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Profar struck out swinging
        • R. Grossman: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul tip, Grossman struck out on foul tip
        • J. Phegley: Strike looking, Phegley lined out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • H. Bailey Pitching:
        • Y. Alvarez: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Alvarez flied out to deep left
        • A. Diaz: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Diaz struck out swinging
        • A. Toro-Hernandez: Strike looking, Toro-Hernandez grounded out to second
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • J. Verlander Pitching:
        • M. Semien: Semien singled to left
        • M. Chapman: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Chapman struck out swinging
        • M. Olson: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Olson struck out swinging
        • M. Canha: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Canha walked, Semien to second
        • S. Brown: Strike looking, Ball, Brown doubled to left, Semien scored, Canha to third
        • K. Davis: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Davis struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • H. Bailey Pitching:
        • G. Springer: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Springer walked
        • J. Altuve: Strike looking, Ball, Altuve singled to left, Springer to second
        • M. Brantley: Strike looking, Brantley grounded into double play second to shortstop to first, Springer to third, Altuve out at second
        • A. Bregman: Ball, Strike looking, Bregman flied out to center
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)