OAKLAND . (AP) — With several key stars sidelined by injuries, the Houston Astros relied on some lesser-known fill-ins who were in the minors just a week ago.
Derek Fisher hit a tiebreaking homer to lead off the eighth inning after pinch-runner Myles Straw and defensive replacement Jack Mayfield made key plays in the seventh to help the short-handed Astros rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.
“They’re doing everything they can to make good impressions,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “They’re really happy to be in the big leagues. There’s a lot of talent in this organization. We built that depth. It’s coming in handy now.”
The Astros trailed the A’s 2-0 heading into the seventh inning on a night they were missing injured stars Jose Altuvé, Carlos Correa and George Springer. But Josh Reddick started the comeback with a solo homer and Tony Kemp tied the game with a double.
That set the stage for Fisher, who sent a drive out to center field against Lou Trivino (2-2) on the first pitch of the eighth to hand the A’s their third straight loss following a 10-game winning streak.
“I knew I hit it hard,” Fisher said. “I know Ramón (Laureano) tends to pull some crazy plays out of nowhere. Thankfully the ball didn’t find a glove, and even better, it went over the wall.”
Héctor Rondón (3-1) pitched out of a jam in the seventh with help from a diving stop at shortstop by Mayfield that held Laureano at third base with the infield drawn in. Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 17 chances.
Robbie Grossman hit an opposite-field single away from the shift with one out and Chapman followed with a no-doubt shot to left field on a 0-2 fastball right down middle. The A’s didn’t manage anything else against Peacock, who allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.
Houston then tied it in the seventh against Mike Fiers. Josh Reddick snapped an 0-for-15 rut with a solo homer with one out to make it 2-1 and Fiers was replaced by Lou Trevino after issuing a two-out walk to Tyler White. Kemp then hit a drive to left that Grossman took a bad angle on, sending Straw home on an RBI double that tied the game.
“We’re not worried, but these games, we’ve got to lock down, especially late in the game against a team like that,” Fiers said. “We can’t give them too much. It’s a tight game. If we want to win the division, we have to win these games.”
Astros: Correa reported to the ballpark in Houston, but is unable to do any work since cracking rib earlier this week. Correa said he was injured while getting a massage at his home Tuesday. He released a video on the YouTube channel of his fiancée, Daniella Rodriguez, on Friday, detailing how the injury occurred and thanking fans for their support. ... Altuve (left hamstring) took grounders before the game; INF Aledmys Díaz (hamstring) and Springer (hamstring) both ran and took some swings; and RHP Joe Smith (Achilles) threw a 20-pitch live BP session at West Palm Beach.
Athletics: OF Khris Davis (left hip) took BP before the game and could be activated as soon as Saturday. “I think there’s a chance,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We want to make sure he’s not sore tomorrow and feels as good as he did today.”
One game after allowing five runs in the 11th inning of a loss to the Angels, Trivino gave up the late lead to the Astros when he couldn’t keep the lead in the seventh. Melvin isn’t worried about one of his most trusted relievers.
“Just a couple balls in the middle of the plate,” he said. “He’s still throwing hard, still getting good movement, just maybe not precise on the location of where he’s throwing.”
Justin Verlander (8-2, 2.38 ERA), who is tied for second in the majors in wins, gets the start in the middle game of the series for Houston against Brett Anderson (6-3, 3.86 ERA).