A’S Oakland amazing – ties for AL West lead
The A’s were an average team two months ago, a dozen games behind the Houston Astros and closer to the bottom of the AL West than the top.
Well, look at the A’s now.
Trevor Cahill pitched one-hit ball for seven shutout innings and the A’s kept up their unlikely turnaround, tying Houston for the division lead by beating the Astros 7-1 Saturday.
“It’s been a nice run for sure,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Josh Phegley and Stephen Piscotty each hit two of Oakland’s team record-tying eight doubles as the A’s won for the sixth time in seven games.
The A’s trailed the defending World Series champion Astros by 12 games following play on June 18, having just reached the .500 mark, and were still 10 out on July 10.
Houston has lost seven of eight and dropped 12 of 19 since owning a sixgame lead on July 24.
The next day, reigning AL MVP Jose Altuve went on the disabled list with knee trouble, 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.
“I was able to attack the zone a little more and got some quick outs,” Cahill said. “The offense came through and made it a lot easier.”
Cahill, who was on the disabled list in June because of an Achilles injury, 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.
“He dominated us,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “He was clearly doing whatever he wanted with the ball. When they got the lead, he pitched pretty aggressively and we chased. He controlled the game.”
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 and nine hits in 52⁄3 innings. It’s the most runs he has 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, 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.
20-GAME WIN STREAK REMEMBERED
The A’s honored members of the 2002 team that set an American League record with a 20-game winning streak and was featured in the movie “Moneyball.”
Scott Hatteberg, who hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning 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.
Oakland’s Matt Olson and Chad Pinder celebrate after scoring on a double by Josh Phegley in the eighth inning. The A’s trailed the Astros by 10 games on July 10.