Athletics

A's tied for first place in AL West after crushing Astros

A's tied for first place in AL West after crushing Astros

OAKLAND — After trailing the Astros by 12 games exactly two months ago, the A's have pulled even. Oakland beat Houston 7-1 Saturday afternoon to improve to 74-49 and move into a first-place tie atop the AL West.

Trevor Cahill was masterful, pitching seven shutout innings, allowing just an infield single and a walk, while striking out seven. Cahill improved to 5-2 on the season, lowering his league-leading home ERA to 0.85, and his overall ERA to 3.12.

With the win, the A's clinched yet another series victory, improving to 15-1-2 in their last 18 series. They have now won 40 of their last 53 games overall, and 19 of their last 23 at the Coliseum.

Here's what else you need to know from Saturday's victory...

--- Khris Davis busted out of a mini-slump, going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBI. Davis entered the game 0 for his last 13, but staked the A's to an early lead when he ripped a 2-run double to left in the first inning. He doubled again in the sixth inning, his 24th two-bagger of the season. Davis increased his RBI total to 95, second most in MLB behind Boston's J.D. Martinez.

--- The A's added three more runs in the sixth inning, thanks to four doubles. Davis, Matt Olson, and Stephen Piscotty led off the inning with three straight doubles, and Josh Phegley added another one later on. The A's notched eight doubles in the game, tying the Oakland single-game record, last accomplished in 2013.

--- Phegley made his 17th start of the season at catcher and went 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. The A's are now 15-2 in games Phegley has started this season.

--- Olson and Piscotty had big days as well, both going 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run batted in. Piscotty leads the A's with 33 doubles on the season. Olson has 26.

2002 A's see themselves in 2018 squad 16 years later

2002 A's see themselves in 2018 squad 16 years later

OAKLAND — In 2002, the Oakland A's captivated the baseball world. Now 16 years later, they're doing it again.

On Saturday, the A's honored the 2002 squad and their legendary 20-game winning streak, welcoming back several players to the Coliseum. That team has certainly taken notice of what the current A's are doing.

“It reminds us of some of the things we were doing back then,” former outfielder Jermaine Dye said. “It's good to see this organization and these players play the way they've been playing, and hopefully they can keep it up.”

“They're incredible,” Mark Ellis, former second baseman, said. “The personalities on this team, the leadership on this team, and the youthful energy they have, it's invigorating.”

While this year's A's squad hasn't quite matched the 20-game winning streak from 2002, they have won an incredible 39 of their last 52 games to pull within a game of first place in the AL West. Astoundingly, 21 of those 39 wins have been comeback victories, with 15 seeing the winning run scored in the eighth inning or later.

“It's so much fun to watch,” said former pitcher Mark Mulder. “It seems like it's a team out there right now that all gets along, and they're all pulling for each other.”

“I think a lot of the good teams that have come through here have had a lot of similar aspects, as far as chemistry and youth, and some piecemeal guys,” Scott Hatteberg, former first baseman, said. “But the one thing they've always had is great chemistry, and this team has got that.”

“There's a lot of talent,” Ellis said. “They can have all the energy and everything they want, but they also have a lot of talent.”

Other former players on hand Saturday included Ray Durham, Tim Hudson, David Justice, Randy Velarde, Billy Koch, Ricardo Rincon, Terrence Long, Jeff Tam, Micah Bowie, Aaron Harang, and Jim Mecir. Former coaches Thad Bosley and Rick Peterson were also honored, as were Melanie and Christopher Lidle, the widow and son of pitcher Cory Lidle.

A's notes: Oakland earns MLB-leading 11th win when trailing after seven

A's notes: Oakland earns MLB-leading 11th win when trailing after seven

OAKLAND — If it seems like the A's come back to win a lot of games, it's because they do.

Friday's victory over the Astros marked Oakland's 11th win of the season when trailing after seven innings, the most in all of Major League Baseball. On the flip side, the A's are a perfect 50-0 when leading after seven.

Oakland also leads MLB with a 26-10 record in one-run games; the Astros fell to 16-22 in such games.

--- The A's improved to 11-5 in extra inning games. The 11 extra-inning wins are tied with the Seattle Mariners for the most in the bigs.

--- Friday marked Oakland's first home win against Houston this season. The A's are now 1-6 against the Astros at the Coliseum and 5-9 overall.

--- The A's have won 18 of their last 22 games at home and are 36-24 at the Coliseum for the season.

--- Oakland snapped a 21-run scoreless streak after scoring two runs in the fifth inning.

--- Matt Olson hit the first walk-off home run of his MLB career. It was his second career walk-off hit.

--- Jed Lowrie has recorded multiple hits in four of his last five games, the first time he has done that since April. He is 9 for his last 21, with two home runs and four doubles.

--- Fernando Rodney has yet to allow an earned run in five appearances with Oakland. Overall, he has not allowed an earned run in his last 10 innings.

--- Khris Davis and Jonathan Lucroy are both 0 for their last 13. Lucroy went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts Friday night. Davis was 0-for-4, but did draw a walk.

--- Lucroy threw out his 23rd attempted base stealer of the season to lead Major League Baseball.