A’S Oak­land amaz­ing – ties for AL West lead

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Sports - BY RICK EYMER

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.

BEN MAR­GOT AP

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.

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