OAKLAND, Calif. — Chad Pinder hit his second grand slam in two weeks, Frankie Montas pitched five innings in what could be his final outing with Oakland and the Athletics held off the Houston Astros 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Tony Kemp had an RBI double and Stephen Piscotty doubled twice for the A’s. Oakland has won five of six.
The A’s were out-hit 7-6 and committed an error that led to an unearned run but beat the major leagues’ best road team for the second night in a row before another small crowd of 5,130.
Montas (4-9) allowed three runs, two earned, and worked around three walks to win for the first time since June 11. The A’s right-hander has been the subject of trade rumors and his next scheduled start is on Aug. 2, the final day of the trade deadline.
He threw 78 pitches and struck out four in his second outing since missing time with inflammation in his pitching shoulder.
Montas hasn’t received much run support this season and Oakland’s offense was stifled against Houston until loading the bases in the third on an infield single and back-to-back, two-out walks by Luis García (8-6).
Pinder crushed a 1-2 pitch into the left field stands for a 4-0 lead. Pinder also hit a grand slam July 12 against the Rangers.
The A’s bullpen made it hold up with four no-hit innings. Lou Trivino pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
Kyle Tucker hit his 19th home run for the Astros. Yordan Alvarez added two hits.
Houston got within 4-3 in the fifth on Alvarez’s RBI double and a throwing error by third baseman Vimael Machín. The Astros had two on with two out later in the inning before Montas got Aledmys Díaz to fly out.
García had seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings but walked four and allowed four runs. Runner-up in AL Rookie of the Year voting a year ago, García had won his last five decisions dating to June 10.
The A’s added insurance in the eighth following back-to-back doubles by Piscotty and Kemp off Hector Neris.
Astros: 2B Jose Altuve and 1B Yuli Gurriel were held out of the starting lineup but both appeared as pinch-hitters in the ninth.
Athletics: Machín was hit by a pitch in his right elbow but stayed in the game.
Astros RHP Cristian Javier (6-5, 3.13 ERA) faces Oakland for the second time this season after lasting four innings against the A’s on May 31. LHP Cole Irvin (4-7, 3.08) pitches for Oakland and has defeated Houston once in seven career starts.
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