HOUSTON — Jed Lowrie’s first home run this season came with two outs in the ninth to tie it at 5and send Oakland’s game on Saturday against the Houston Astros into extra innings.
Too bad for the Athletics, they weren’t able to generate any offense after that and fell to the Astros 6-5 in 12 innings.
“We gave ourselves some opportunities,” Lowrie said. “We also pitched out of some big spots, too. They had plenty of opportunities. Unfortunately, that is the way that a lot of these extra-inning games go. The home team has the advantage.”
Carlos Correa had three hits and his RBI single with one out in the 12th inning lifted the Astros to the victory.
George Springer started Houston’s 12th with a double off Ryan Madson (2-2) and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jose Altuve. Correa then shot a single down the right field line to give Houston its seventh win in eight games.
“I know a couple pitches were middle but down,” Madson said. “I was trying to get a ground ball. It was do-your-job hitting and not trying to do too much.”
Scott Feldman (3-3) plunked Khris Davis with two outs in the 12th before a single by Yonder Alonso. But Feldman retired Marcus Semien to end the inning.
Lowrie had gone a career-long 40 games without a home run to start the season before his solo drive to the first row in the seats in right field against his former team. The drive left Luke Gregerson with his second straight blown save.
“It’s always fun to get your former team and then when you add the fact that it was top of the ninth, two outs, down by one, it’s kind of the icing on the cake,” said Lowrie, who spent 2012 and 2015 with the Astros.
It was another taxing day for Oakland’s bullpen, which was forced to use five relievers on Friday after Jesse Hahn was chased in the first inning.
“We’ve been dealing with that all year,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We have an off day the day [Monday], so we will get through it.”
This was Houston’s ninth extra-inning game of the season, which leads the American League, and the longest game this year for the A’s.
Evan Gattis homered for the second straight game and Colby Rasmus doubled twice to help Houston build a 5-3 lead in the fifth.
Correa had an RBI single early and tripled for the second straight game before his game-winning hit.
Chris Coghlan hit a two RBI double in Oakland’s three-run second and Danny Valencia cut the lead to 5-4 with a solo homer in the sixth.
Collin McHugh followed up his first career complete game by yielding five hits and four runs in 5.1 innings. Will Harris, who has an 0.35 ERA, allowed one hit in a scoreless eighth to extend his scoreless streak to 24.1 innings.
Oakland starter Kendall Graveman allowed seven hits and five runs in 4.1 innings, which tied his shortest outing this year.
Play was briefly stopped in the bottom of the fourth inning when a fan climbed onto the field from a seat on the third base line and trotted out to the mound jumping and wildly waving a small American flag.
The man was wrestled to the ground by a group of about six security guards and police officers, and he flailed repeatedly as he was escorted off the field. He lost his flag in the scuffle and A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso picked it up and waved it briefly before handing it to security personnel.
A’s starter Rich Hill, who was scheduled to start on Saturday before being scratched on Friday with a groin strain, is expected to miss one more start before returning sometime in next weekend’s series against Cincinnati.
Sonny Gray will come off the disabled list to start on Sunday. He was scheduled to make a rehabilitation start for Single-A Stockton on Sunday, but his return was pushed up because of Hill’s injury.