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MLB playoffs: Athletics smack 5 homers, rally past Astros

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MLB playoffs: Athletics smack 5 homers, rally past Astros
Oakland Athletics third baseman Chad Pinder went 3 for 4 with a home run and four RBIs in a win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday in Los Angeles. File Photo by Trask Smith/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Five home runs powered a dramatic Oakland Athletics comeback victory over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.

Tommy La Stella, Mark Canha, Matt Olson, Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder each went deep in the 9-7 win Wednesday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Houston now leads the series 2-1.

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Pinder went 3 for 4 with four RBIs and a run scored in the win. Semien, La Stella and Canha had two hits apiece for Oakland.

The Athletics trailed 7-4 at the start of the seventh inning before they scored five unanswered runs to secure the victory and prevent an Astros sweep in the best-of-five series.

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"Right before that inning, Ramon [Laureano] got everyone up and got everybody fired up and said 'this isn't it,'" Pinder said of a speech Laureano gave before the seventh inning.

"We hadn't been able to respond, but Ramon kinda nipped that in the bud."

Semien and La Stella each singled to start the seventh frame. Pinder then stepped to the plate to face Astros relief pitcher Josh James.

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The Athletics third baseman ripped James' only offering of the exchange to right field for a 360-foot homer. The three-run shot tied the score at 7-7.

Robbie Grossman took a walk at the start of the next inning. Laureano followed with a double before Sean Murphy plated Grossman with an RBI sacrifice fly for the go-ahead run.

Pinder plated Laureano later in the same frame with another sacrifice fly for the final two-run advantage. Athletics relief pitchers Jake Diekman and Liam Hendricks combined to allow just two hits and no runs and had six strikeouts over the final four innings to secure the win.

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Athletics pitcher Jesus Luzardo and Astros pitcher Jose Urquidy each allowed allowed five hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings in their respective starts.

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve went 3 for 5 with an RBI in the loss. Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman had two hits apiece for Houston.

The Astros battle the Athletics in Game 4 at 3:35 p.m. EDT Thursday at Dodger Stadium. The winner of the series will face the New York Yankees or Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Championship Series. The Rays lead the series 2-1.

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