Tuesday night at the Oakland coliseum had the feeling of a playoff game. Every pitch, every move of the fielders, and swing of the bat had the tension of the weight of the world.
Of course, every win matters for the Astros while the Athletics won’t stop fighting under manager Bob Melvin.
Every decision held extra weight as Houston played for the double play with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, allowing a run to score on a slow roller. But another decision put Houston in the win column. Tony Kemp pinch hit in the seventh inning.
Kemp proved to be the key for the Astros’ 2-1 win. Kemp would score the game-winning run after tying the game in the seventh inning.
Kemp pinch hit for Teoscar Hernandez in the seventh with Marwin Gonzalez on third base — who stole second and moved up on a groundout. Kemp pulled a ball to the right side of the infield toward A’s second baseman Joey Wendle.
The Astros got a rare break as Wendle slipped going to the ball, allowing the ball to slip into the outfield to allow Gonzalez to score.
Kemp’s doubled to right field to start the 10th inning and moved to third on a Jake Marsinick sacrifice bunt. The game-winning run would score on a George Springer hard single past Wendle.
The Astros win was set up by Joe Musgrove and Chris Devenski. Musgrove allowed just one run on two hits over 5 1/3 innings. He exited the game in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and one out. Chris Devenski got Stephen Vogt to ground out to Carlos Correa but it allowed Jake Smolinski to score, but Devenski retired Danny Valencia to end the inning.
Devenski would pitch three more innings without giving up a hit.
Ken Giles would have a rough outing by loading the bases but he was able to retire Smolinski and Wendle to end the game.