The Houston Astros were able to hold on to a narrow lead on Thursday night to come out on top against the Oakland Athletics. Houston had been up 3-0 for most of the game and almost pulled their signature move by giving up two late runs but were able to just eke out the win.
At this point in the season, this is exactly what Oakland doesn’t want. They are in a down-to-the-wire race with division rivals Texas Rangers for a spot in the playoffs. A loss to the team with the worst record in the American League hardly helps their chances.
The Astros and A’s are at the beginning of a four-game series in Oakland, and for a team that has been as hot as the Athletics, any slip-ups at this point comes as a big disappointment for them and a happy surprise for Texas.
Surprisingly, pitching won the game for the Astros. Starter Brad Peacock played his finest game of the season, going seven innings, giving up two runs and striking out nine. He had consistent command of his fastball, still in the mid-90s by the time he came out, and you could tell he didn’t want to leave.
The Astros’ bats are much improved. None more so than Chris Carter, who has greatly reduced his strikeout numbers and knocked in his 74th RBI of the season.
Tonight Houston’s Dallas Keuchel faces A.J. Griffin, a starter with a powerful 12-9 record. Oakland will be hoping to bounce back, while Houston will be keen to continue to be a thorn in contending teams’ sides.
Daniel Jamieson is an MLB writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on twitter @JamiesonDaniel