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Houston Astros: Dallas Kuechel struggles in another loss to Oakland Athletics

By
Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange
Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros suffered a sweep at the hands of the Oakland A's on Sunday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros suffered a sweep at the hands of the Oakland A's on Sunday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics took advantage of Houston Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel's wildness during a three-run, tie-breaking sixth inning, allowing the last place team in the American League West to record a 10-2 win Sunday afternoon that completed a four-game sweep of the division leaders.

Ryon Healy, Boog Powell and Matt Olson belted game-clinching, two-run homers in the seventh and eighth innings for the A's, who recorded their second four-game sweep of the season. The other came in June against the New York Yankees.

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Right-hander Kendall Graveman limited the high-powered Astros to one run on five hits in six innings, helping the A's turn the tables on Houston, which had entered the series having won 10 straight in Oakland.

The loss kept the Astros' magic number for clinching the AL West at seven over the Los Angeles Angels, who won Sunday at Seattle.

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With a 13-game lead in hand, the Astros visit the Angels for a three-game series beginning Tuesday.

An RBI single by the Astros' Alex Bregman offset a solo homer by Oakland's Matt Chapman, sending the Keuchel-Graveman pitchers' duel tied 1-1 into the bottom of the sixth.

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After Jed Lowrie led off with a single, Keuchel provided all the offense for the A's, walking Khris Davis, Olson and, one out later, Chapman to force in the go-ahead run.

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Keuchel then hit Mark Canha in the left toe with a pitch, delivering another run, before issuing a fourth walk in the inning to Marcus Semien to force in a third run and give Oakland a 4-1 lead.

Keuchel (12-4) was pulled after the Semien walk, having allowed four runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out four in his first loss this season against the A's after three earlier wins.

Healy's homer, his 24th of the season, came off Astros reliever Francis Martes one inning later to increase the Oakland advantage to 6-1.

Graveman (5-4) walked two and struck out three in his 104-pitch effort.

Pinch-hitter J.D. Davis hit a solo homer, his fourth of the season, off the third A's pitcher, left-hander Sam Moll, leading off the eighth inning to close the Astros within 6-2.

A's closer Blake Treinen struck out pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran with two on and two out in the eighth to preserve the four-run lead, setting the stage for the homers by Powell, his third, and Olson, his 17th, in the bottom of the inning.

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Healy and Canha had three hits apiece for the A's, who have won five in a row, matching a season-best.

Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa each collected a double and a single for the Astros, who despite the four losses won the season series from the A's 12-7.

Astros pitchers walked eight batters in the game and 25 in the series.

NOTES: The last time the A's recorded two four-game sweeps in the same season was 1977. ... Astros CF Jake Marisnick was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing a called third strike. ... Athletics hitting coach Darren Bush planned to use the day off Monday to check on damage to his home in Englewood, Fla., which is just north of Ft. Myers on the state's west side. The area was expected to take a big hit in Hurricane Irma's path. Bush has informed A's manager Bob Melvin if damage was severe, he'd need a couple of days away from the team. ... After Monday's off-day, the A's begin a series Tuesday in Boston against the Red Sox. ... Astros manager A.J. Hinch announced Sunday that RHP Collin McHugh (avulsion in right middle fingernail) will miss his scheduled start Thursday against the Angels, and be replaced by RHP Brad Peacock. The injury is not considered serious, and the plan is for McHugh to return during the series against the Chicago White Sox on Sept. 19-21. ... Astros C Juan Centeno (mild concussion) sat out Sunday's game and likely will need more time off after getting hit in the helmet on a 2B Jed Lowrie backswing Saturday.

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