for this game

Five-run eighth lifts Athletics past Astros

Jun 14, 2007 - 5:00 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Back-to-back doubles highlighted a five-run eighth inning as the Oakland Athletics rallied to defeat the Houston Astros, 7-3, on Wednesday.

After Mark Kotsay's RBI double to left field tied the game at 3-3, Mark Ellis followed suit with a two-run two-bagger to cap a string of four straight hits with two outs off Astros reliever Dan Wheeler (0-4).

After striking out the first two batters he faced, Wheeler surrendered singles to Jason Kendall and Marco Scutaro. The doubles then followed, knocking Wheeler from the game.

"That was probably one of the pitches that I missed," Wheeler said of Ellis' double. "It was down the middle. He squared up pretty good. I thought I could throw a two-seamer on the outside corner and he would hit it at somebody."

Trever Miller entered and surrendered a two-run single to Eric Chavez two batters later to cap the inning.

"The big thing in the five-run eighth inning was some real, real good hustle on some balls hit into the ground," Athletics manager Bob Geren said. "Ellis' double off the wall and the single to get the other two runs were huge."

Astros manager Phil Garner couldn't fault Wheeler.

"Danny makes a couple of really good pitches and they get infield hits," Garner said. "He makes one that's a foot off the plate and the guy slices it down the line. There's not a whole lot you can do about that."

Oakland scored those five runs with just a single hard hit ball.

"It was some well placed balls," Chavez said. "Kotsay really came up with the big hit in the inning. From there, we built on that and we scored some runs."

An altercation in the Astros dugout after Wheeler was lifted nearly stole the show. Starting pitcher Chris Sampson, who allowed two runs and three hits in seven innings and stood to be the winner, approached Wheeler as he went down the dugout steps.

"I was trying to pat him on the back and tell him we'll get them next time," Sampson said.

Instead, Wheeler shoved Sampson with two hands.

"There's nothing going on," said Wheeler, who sought out Sampson in the Astros' clubhouse after the game. "I love Chris. It was just frustration on my part. I'm a professional, I should be better than that. I take full responsibility."

Sampson, who called Wheeler his big brother on the team, said there are no hard feelings.

"(Wheeler) was in the heat of the moment," Sampson said. "We are both right and both wrong. It was big brother teaching little brother a lesson, don't mess with someone when he's upset."

Oakland starter Joe Blanton (6-4) was credited with the win. The righthander allowed three runs on eight hits in seven innings. Santiago Casilla allowed three hits in the eighth inning but left unscathed. Alan Embree pitched a flawless ninth for the Athletics.

"We didn't score a lot early," Blanton said. "It seems like when they bring in the reliever, we turn it on a bit. We've got to some closers this year. It's not the first time they've scored for me late. It was just hanging around, keeping us close enough."

The late collapse spoiled a solid pitching performance by Sampson, who has allowed three runs or fewer in 11 of his 12 starts this season.

"Obviously it's frustrating," Sampson said. "It's frustrating as a team, not just for my own personal stats. If I pitch like that, but we still win ... I just want to win. I just want to make sure every time I go out there, I put my team in the position to win the game."

Sampson's only mistakes resulted in solo home runs by Chavez in the fifth and Kendall in the sixth.

Kendall had a 619 at-bat homerless streak dating back to May 31, 2006, against Kansas City's Joel Peralta. It was his first home run in 158 games games, and the second longest streak among active players.

"I know I can hit," said Kendall, whose average is up to .210 after going 8-for-21 to begin the road trip. "I know I dug myself a bit hole, but I can get out of it."

Craig Biggio's RBI double in the seventh plated Adam Everett to give the Astros a 3-2 lead.

Houston got on the board in the second inning after Eric Munson doubled to center, which scored Carlos Lee.

The Astros added another run in the third after Hunter Pence's double plated Sampson.

Houston first baseman Lance Berkman did not play as he served the second game of his two-game suspension.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 5 0 7 8 0
    HOUSTON 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 11 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: OAK - JOE BLANTON, SANTIAGO CASILLA (8TH), ALAN EMBREE (9TH) AND
    JASON KENDALL
    HOU - CHRIS SAMPSON, DAN WHEELER (8TH), TREVER MILLER
    (8TH), BRIAN MOEHLER (9TH) AND

    Jun 13 10:32 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ERIC CHAVEZ SCORED MARK ELLIS AND NICK SWISHER.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, E CHAVEZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 7
    HOUSTON 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D JOHNSON (.258, 0-FOR-3)

    Athletics vs. AstrosJun 13 10:06 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MARK ELLIS SCORED MARCO SCUTARO AND MARK KOTSAY.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M ELLIS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 5
    HOUSTON 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: N SWISHER (.283, 0-FOR-3)

    Athletics vs. AstrosJun 13 10:01 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MARK KOTSAY SCORED JASON KENDALL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M KOTSAY ON SECOND, M SCUTARO ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 3
    HOUSTON 3 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M ELLIS (.252, 0-FOR-3)

    Athletics vs. AstrosJun 13 10:00 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CRAIG BIGGIO SCORED ADAM EVERETT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C BIGGIO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
    HOUSTON 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: M LAMB (.250, 0-FOR-3)

    Athletics vs. AstrosJun 13 9:43 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JASON KENDALL (1) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 6TH OFF CHRIS SAMPSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J BLANTON (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. AstrosJun 13 9:16 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ERIC CHAVEZ (10) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF CHRIS SAMPSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1, HOUSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D JOHNSON (.261, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. AstrosJun 13 9:03 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY HUNTER PENCE SCORED CHRIS SAMPSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H PENCE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    HOUSTON 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: C LEE (.296, 1-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. AstrosJun 13 8:46 PM


  • ML
    AT HOUSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ERIC MUNSON SCORED CARLOS LEE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E MUNSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    HOUSTON 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR HOUSTON: A EVERETT (.230, 2 HR, 15 RBI)

    Athletics vs. AstrosJun 13 8:26 PM