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Date of game: 9/7/2014

Recap: Oakland vs. Houston

Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Dexter Fowler's walk with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning forced in the winning run, as Houston claimed a come-from-behind 4-3 decision over Oakland in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Ryan Cook (1-3) walked the bases loaded, issuing passes to Marwin Gonzalez, Marc Krauss and Robbie Grossman. He was pulled for Fernando Abad before a fly to right by Jake Marisnick tied the game. Jose Altuve was given a free pass to re-load the bases, and the strategy backfired when Fowler worked a walk to force in pinch-runner L.J. Hoes for a 4-3 Astros edge.

Tony Sipp retired the first two Oakland batters in the bottom of the ninth, but walked Craig Gentry. He yielded to Josh Fields, who locked down the game by fanning Josh Donaldson on three pitches to earn his third save.

Jose Veras (4-0) picked up the win after fanning three and allowing two hits in 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief work.

Jonathan Singleton and Gregorio Petit knocked in a run each for the Astros, who have won six of their last seven.

Dallas Keuchel worked the first 6 2/3 frames and yielded three runs -- two earned -- on eight hits with three strikeouts.

"This is supposed to be a fun game," Keuchel said. "Last few years or so we haven't made it very far and that's hard on us, especially a young team. You're seeing, some of the young guys finally relax."

Nate Freiman hit a two-run homer and Derek Norris added an RBI for the Athletics, who fell seven games back of the Angels in the AL West.

Jason Hammel struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits.

"It's all about winning games for us," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You never know what kind of run you can go on."

The A's broke a scoreless deadlock in the home sixth. Having loaded the bases on an error that allowed Andy Parrino to reach, a single by Coco Crisp and intentional walk to Donaldson, Norris' grounder scored Parrino.

Houston countered in the next frame. Chris Carter doubled and Jason Castro walked to start, both were sacrificed into scoring position, then a Singleton groundout and base hit from Petit provided a 2-1 edge.

Jed Lowrie singled to begin the home half and Freiman's shot to left restored the hosts' one-run edge.

Game Notes

Oakland went 11-8 against Houston this season ... The Astros picked up their first win all season when trailing after eight innings, and, with their 63rd victory overall, are guaranteed to lose less than 100 games for the first time since going 76-86 in 2010 ... Crisp and Lowrie combined for six of the Athletics' 10 hits.

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