Updated at: 09/07/2013 5:35 PM
(AP) OAKLAND, Calif. - Dan Straily pitched seven scoreless innings to help the Oakland Athletics edge the Houston Astros 2-1 on Saturday.
Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie homered as the A’s won for the seventh time in nine games to remain on top of the AL West. They began the day with a half-game lead over Texas.
Straily (9-7) allowed two hits, struck out seven and walked one in his third consecutive victory. The right-hander has a 1.50 ERA over 18 innings during his winning streak.
Dan Otero allowed a run in the eighth, but Sean Doolittle got four outs for his first save in four chances, completing the five-hitter.
Brandon Barnes had a run-scoring fielder’s choice for Houston’s only run. The major league-worst Astros have dropped nine of 12.
Houston starter Brett Oberholtzer (4-2) pitched six stellar innings, allowing one run and seven hits.
Straily retired his last nine hitters and 12 of his final 13 batters. He allowed one runner to reach third and he was stranded when Jonathan Villar was thrown out at second by Cespedes trying to stretch his single.
Matt Dominguez doubled to lead off the fifth but Straily struck out Chris Carter and Brett Wallace, and Matt Pagnozzi grounded out to shortstop.
Oberholtzer gave up Cespedes’ 22nd homer leading off the fourth. After Nate Freiman singled, Oberholtzer retired nine of his final 11 hitters.
Lowrie hit a two-out home run in the seventh against Josh Zeid.
Wallace doubled with one out against Otero and eventually scored on Barnes’ slow grounder to the pitcher.
NOTES: A’s LHP Hideki Okajima cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento. ... A’s OF Coco Crisp was given a scheduled day off. ... RHP Bartolo Colon (14-6, 2.90) starts the series finale on Sunday for the Athletics. He’s lost his last three decisions. ... Cespedes is hitting .393 (11 for 28) in September. ... The Astros will send RHP Paul Clemens (4-4, 5.91) to the mound on Sunday. Clemens is making his third start after 30 relief appearances. ... Astros OF Robbie Grossman (strained oblique) missed his fourth consecutive game and remains day to day. ... RHP Edgar Gonzalez (right shoulder strain) was added to the roster at Double-A Corpus Christi and was scheduled to pitch an inning on Saturday. ... Houston C Carlos Corporan (concussion) played five innings for the Hooks on Friday night and was in the starting lineup again Saturday. ... Carter leads the AL with 189 strikeouts.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)