Houston continues to be a problem for A’s

By From page B1 | July 29, 2014

Jose Altuve, Nick Punto

Houston second baseman Jose Altuve leaps to avoid Oakland's Nick Punto at second base as he throws to first to complete a double play Monday. AP photo

HOUSTON — It all fell apart for Oakland starter Jesse Chavez in a very brief span.

Chavez gave up a career-high three homers as the Houston Astros snapped a five-game skid with a 7-3 win over the Oakland Athletics.

Chris Carter, Jason Castro, Marc Krauss and Matt Dominguez each hit a home run — the first three off Chavez — and the A’s have lost four of their last six games against the Astros.

“To sum up the whole day, it was three pitches and one walk,” Chavez said. “That can’t happen when you have the lead, and it’s something that has been my Achilles heel, giving back the runs they get for me and not being able to get through six (innings).”

Chavez, who had given up five runs over his last 17 1/3 innings, spanning three starts, allowed a season-high six runs and five hits with five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Chavez had allowed three home runs in his last 11 starts combined.

Carter hit a monstrous three-run shot to center field in the third to give the Astros a lead, and Castro and Krauss went back-to-back in the sixth, with Castro’s homer a two-run shot.

Krauss’ homer found the upper deck in right field and chased Chavez (8-7).

“You have to pitch to the park, you can’t let it affect you, but I think that is what it did today,” Chavez said. “It got me in trouble a little bit and it led to the walks.”

Two batters later, Dominguez sent a drive onto the railroad tracks in left field off reliever Dan Otero.

The last time Houston hit three home runs in an inning was June 5, 2013, against Baltimore.

“I thought (Chavez) was throwing the ball really well, real similar to how he did last time out,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “I think the Carter at-bat affected the way things went from there.”

Houston starter Brett Oberholtzer (3-7) won for the first time since May 30, giving up three runs on eight hits with two strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

Stephen Vogt had two hits, including a solo home run in the third into the upper deck in right to give the A’s a 2-0 lead. Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson each added two hits for Oakland.

Derek Norris gave the A’s a 1-0 lead in the second with an RBI single, and Yoenis Cespedes tied it at 3 with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

The Associated Press

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