Brett Oberholtzer was just fine in following up his shutout performance from last Sunday, but this time he was the hard luck loser.
Obie lasted six innings, scattering seven hits, walking none, striking out five and allowing only one run. That run came on a Yoenis Cespedes home run that broke a scoreless tie in the fourth. The lefty's change up hang up a little too high on the outside part of the plate that Cespedes was able yank into the left field seats.
The A's had a chance to score in the third when it looked like they would load the bases on a Josh Donaldson single. Astros right fielder Trevor Crowe hit his cutoff man, Brett Wallace, in the middle of the diamond. Jed Lowrie turned around second a little hard, and Wallace charged towards him leading to Kurt Suzuki breaking for home. Suzuki froze when Wallace looked at him and Wallace threw to Matt Dominguez who threw to catcher Matt Pagnozzi who tagged out Suzuki to end the inning.
Oakland took a 2-0 lead when Lowrie went yard off Josh Zeid in the seventh inning. What is with the former Astros killing their old team?
The Astros managed only two hits and a walk against A's starter Dan Straily in his seven innings, but got a rally going once he left. Brett Wallace doubled and Marc Krauss singled to put runners on first and third with one out. Brandon Barnes followed with an RBI fielder's choice and then stole second, but was then picked off and caught stealing third by Sean Doolittle with Jonathan Villar at the plate to end the inning.
The A's Doolittle allowed only a Jose Altuve single in the ninth to record the four-out save.
Houston has a chance to still split the series with Paul Clemens taking on Bartolo Colon in the finale.