HOUSTON — Chris Carter hit his 32nd homer, a three-run drive in the eighth inning that lifted the Houston Astros over the Oakland Athletics 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Oakland starter Jason Hammel had retired 10 straight batters when he was replaced by Luke Gregerson (3-3) for the eighth inning. Robbie Grossman reached on an error by first baseman Stephen Vogt with one out and Gregerson hit Jose Altuve with a pitch.
Carter then launched a 90 mph fastball onto the tracks atop the wall in left field to put Houston on top.
Josh Fields (4-6) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win and Chad Qualls did the same in the ninth for his 15th save.
The A’s began the day tied with the Angels for the AL West lead.
Carter homered for the second straight game, and leads the majors with 19 since the start of July. Before the game, he received a plaque honoring him as the American League player of the week.
Dexter Fowler hit a solo homer for Houston to cut the lead to one in the fourth inning.
Carter’s shot ruined Hammel’s best start since joining the Athletics in a trade from the Cubs. He allowed three hits and one run while working on extra rest — the A’s skipped his last turn because they had two off-days last week.
Dallas Keuchel allowed five hits and two runs in seven innings to remain winless since July 30, a span of five starts.
Jonny Gomes singled in the Oakland fourth and scored on a double by Nate Freiman to push the lead to 2-0.
Jon Singleton walked with two outs in the bottom half before Hammel set down the last 10 batters he faced.
Gomes gave the Athletics a 1-0 lead with an RBI single with two outs in the first.
Athletics: Manager Bob Melvin said SS Jed Lowrie (broken right index finger) and INF Nick Punto (hamstring) are both getting better and could be ready for rehabilitation assignments in the next few days. Lowrie was scheduled to play catch on Tuesday and Melvin said they’ll see how “fast they can move with him” depending on how that goes. Melvin said Punto isn’t able to run at full speed yet, but has been doing everything else.
Oakland left-hander Drew Pomeranz will be recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to make his first major league start since June 16. He has struggled in his career against the Astros, going 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA in two appearances against Houston. Brad Peacock will start Wednesday against the A’s, making his fourth start since being recalled from Triple-A on Aug. 6.