David J. Phillip/APThe A's Max Muncy is tagged out at home during the A's loss to the Astros.

Carter, Rasmus homer to back Hernandez as Astros beat A's

HOUSTON — Chris Carter and Colby Rasmus each hit two-run homers, Roberto Hernandez pitched six strong innings to help the Houston Astros beat the A's 6-4 on Tuesday night.

Carter hit his homer off the facade in left in the second to give Houston a 2-0 lead, and Rasmus launched his homer to right in the eighth to extend the Astros' advantage to 5-2.

Two batters after Rasmus, Jason Castro added a solo home run to right.

Roberto Hernandez (2-3) gave up two runs and seven hits with three strikeouts for his first win in four starts. He has gone at least six innings in each of his last seven starts.

Pat Neshek got the final out for his first save.

Houston improved to 26-14 for the best record in the American League and the best start in franchise history through 40 games.

After Josh Reddick's RBI double in the third sliced Houston's lead in half, Evan Gattis had an RBI single in the fifth to restore the Astros' two-run lead.

Max Muncy had a solo home run in the sixth to cut it to 3-2.

Brett Lawrie had three hits, including an RBI single in the ninth to pull the A's to 6-3. Mark Canha followed by grounding into a double play, scoring Muncy. After Luke Gregerson walked Eric Sogard, Neshek struck out Billy Burns to end it.

Oakland has lost five of its last six games.

Sonny Gray (4-2) lost his second straight outing, allowing three runs and seven hits with four strikeouts in five innings. It was the second time in nine starts Gray has allowed three or more runs.

Oakland had two chances in the second to get on the board, but had runners thrown out at home both times.

With one out, Lawrie doubled to center, and Muncy headed home. Jonathan Villar's relay throw to the plate just got Muncy. On the next play, Sam Fuld grounded out to Chris Carter, who tossed the ball to Hernandez to cover first base, but Fuld beat Hernandez to the bag. Lawrie headed home, and Hernandez's throw to Castro at the plate was just in time to get Lawrie. After a lengthy review, the play stood.

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