Oakland 9, Houston 7
When: 3:35 PM ET, Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
Jerry Meals, 1B -
Lazaro Diaz, 2B -
Ron Kulpa, 3B -
Adrian Johnson, LF -
Tripp Gibson III, RF -
LOS ANGELES -- With their season on the line Wednesday, the Oakland Athletics took over the late innings and lived to see another day in the American League Division Series.
Chad Pinder belted a game-tying, three-run home run in the seventh inning and Sean Murphy hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth as the A's rallied for a 9-7 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 3 at Dodger Stadium.
Oakland now trails 2-1 in the best-of-five series.
A's closer Liam Hendriks (1-0) pitched the final three innings to earn the victory, giving up no runs and one hit. He struck out four without issuing a walk. Hendriks pumped his fist behind the mound when Michael Brantley flied out to left field for the last out.
"We're just excited," said Hendriks, who got the save in the decisive Game 3 of the wild-card round against the Chicago White Sox. "We've got our backs against the wall, and this is when we play our best baseball. Hopefully we can knock out the next two (games) and we're talking for another few days."
On a day when the A's hit five home runs, Murphy's ball that stayed in the park was the difference as Oakland rallied from a 7-4 deficit.
The teams combined to hit seven home runs, raising the total to 18 in the series on three consecutive day games, all with a first-pitch temperature of 81 degrees or higher.
"It was a hard-fought game for us again today," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "These things don't seem to come easy, but we've got another day."
The A's tied the game three batters into the seventh inning. Marcus Semien and Tommy La Stella singled before Pinder hit a home run over Dodger Stadium's short wall in right field.
"I didn't know (if it was gone), but I kind of saw the outfielder drift a little bit," Pinder said. "The ball has been carrying here, but I didn't know off the bat. I knew I hit it good enough for a sac fly, and it just kept going."
Oakland went ahead in the eighth with two sacrifice flies. Murphy hit the first to score Robbie Grossman for an 8-7 lead, and Pinder hit the second. Pinder's sac fly came one batter after La Stella left the game after getting hit in the left forearm by a Brooks Raley pitch.
X-rays on La Stella's arm were negative, according to Melvin, but the second baseman's status moving forward in the series was not known.
The A's also got solo home runs from La Stella, Mark Canha, Matt Olson and Semien.
The Astros received home runs from Jose Altuve and Aledmys Diaz.
"I knew (the series) was going to be crazy from the beginning," Astros manager Dusty Baker said. "You could tell the way the ball is jumping that both sides are going to hit homers. ... Even balls they missed were going all the way to the wall. You're moving on the edge of your seat when you're seeing the balls fly like this."
For the third time in three games, the A's scored first, getting La Stella's homer in the top of the first inning. Altuve answered in the Astros' half of the first with his own solo blast, and Houston added a second run in the inning on a Carlos Correa fielder's choice.
The A's then hit three consecutive home runs to take a 4-2 lead. Canha went deep to center field in the second inning, Olson hit a towering blast to right in the fourth and Semien hit one to center in the fifth.
The Astros took their 7-4 lead with a five-run fifth inning. Diaz hit a two-run home run, Brantley had an RBI single, Alex Bregman had a run-scoring double and Kyle Tucker added an RBI single.
Houston starter Jose Urquidy, who was announced Tuesday as an injury replacement for Zack Greinke, gave up four runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings with one walk and three strikeouts. He served up four home runs.
"I didn't feel like I was struggling out there," Urquidy said. "I left a couple of pitches not really where I wanted to in the zone and they put a couple of good swings on it and were able to get a couple of balls out. It's part of the game. I need to move forward and hope to be better next start."
Raley (0-1) allowed two runs in two innings to take the loss.
A's starter Jesus Luzardo also gave up four runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings. He walked two and fanned two while surrendering both Houston home runs.
Oakland was 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, leaving the A's 1-for-12 in those situations throughout the series.
--By Doug Padilla, Field Level Media
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