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Oakland A’s can’t finish comeback, fall in extras to Houston Astros despite Piscotty homer

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Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sean Manaea throws in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox in the first game of a doubleheader at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago on Friday, June 22, 2018. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

A miraculous four-run comeback in the ninth inning and a go-ahead homer in the 11th by Stephen Piscotty were not enough for the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night as the Houston Astros scored two in the bottom half of the inning to walk off with a 6-5 win as Blake Treinen blew a save for the first time since April 18.

Jonathan Lucroy dropped the ball on a throw to nail the tying run at the plate, and his throwing error allowed the winning run to score.

After being shut out for eight innings against Justin Verlander and a pair of relievers, Oakland (51-41) strung together three hits against Ken Giles, including a Khris Davis RBI single. Matt Olson brought home the second run of the inning with a single against Hector Rondon, but Rondon responded by striking out Piscotty and Matt Chapman. Marcus Semien would come through, delivering a two-run double to left to tie the game.

Piscotty, who has played the role of hero more and more frequently as of late, appeared to do so again in the 11th with a solo homer off Collin McHugh, who entered the night with an ERA of 0.86.

With the normally rock-solid Treinen on in the bottom of the 11th, Josh Reddick reached on a leadoff walk with a contested check swing. Kyle Tucker sent a grounder through the hole on the right side to advance Reddick to third, and he would score on a Tony Kemp grounder as Lucroy dropped Semien’s throw home.

George Springer would follow with a flyout, but Alex Bregman, who homered twice on the night, would deliver the winning run. His soft tapper in front of the plate was fielded by Lucroy, who overthrew Mark Canha at first and dropped the throw home as Tucker scored the winning run.

Verlander allowed just three hits over six innings for Houston (62-32). Joe Smith and Chris Devenski each pitched scoreless innings in relief, but it was McHugh who got the win after the 11th-inning rally.

Sean Manaea labored through four innings and was pulled after a Jose Altuve infield hit to start the bottom of the fifth. He allowed a solo homer to a Bregman in the first, and a George Springer RBI single in the second, which capped off three straight two-out hits to make it 2-0. Springer would bring home another run with a two-out single in the fourth after Tucker stole second, and Bregman would add his second homer in the seventh against Emilio Pagan.

A’s manager Bob Melvin was ejected in the fourth inning after home plate umpire David Rackley called Khris Davis out on a check swing without appealing to first.

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