Sloppy Play Leaves A's In Tall Cotton

Powell keeps running after error
(c) Associated Press
A two-error play and a passed ball gave Oakland the three runs they needed to nip the Astros, 3-2, Sunday and salvage one game from the three-game weekend series. Although the loss put a damper on the series, the fact that Houston won 2-out-of-3 was exactly the formula used to build such a big lead in the first three months.

Even better, most of the Astros' walking wounded, including shortstop Carlos Correa, appear ready to begin rehabilitation assignments with four of them expected to begin Tuesday in Corpus Christi. Don't be surprised if many of them are held out of major league play until September 1st and the time to expand rosters. Houston would then have a large pool with which to form their postseason roster since active and DL'd players are eligible.

As for Sunday's loss, it was just the second time all year that Brad Peacock was tabbed as the loser but it didn't seem fair. He was the victim of a double play turned into two runs on a pair of bad throws in the first inning. After Boog Powell (whose given name is Herschel and he's not related to the famed Oriole slugger of the 60s) singled and was followed by a tap to short by Marcus Semien.

Alex Bregman airmailed the throw past Jose Altuve at second and the throw to the plate was cut off by first baseman Marwin Gonzalez who then threw wildly to third, allowing Semien to come all the way home, giving Oakland an early 2-0 edge.

In the sixth, a passed ball by Juan Centeno plated Jed Lowrie after Peacock and Frances Martes filled the bases.

Jake Marisnick doubled in the third and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Bregman for Houston's first run. The other came on a solo shot by Gonzalez, his 21st of the season, in the seventh.

Blake Treinen worked the final two innings for the save as Houston went meekly in the final frames.

With Monday off, the Astros (76-48) will give Charlie Morton (10-5) the first crack at the Washington Nationals who hold the second-best record in the National League (74-48) but are now without top hitter Bryce Harper who is out with a knee injury. Tanner Roark (9-8) is the scheduled starter for the Nats. The Tuesday opener will be at 7:10 Central time. Taking 2-of-3 in this series will be more impressive than topping Oakland.

- Bob Hulsey