HOUSTON -- The A's have a long history of success against the Houston Astros, and they stretched it out for one more game Monday with Jeff Samardzija throwing seven shutout innings before holding on for a Josh Donaldson-fueled 8-2 win over Houston.
Oakland is 9-5 against the Astros this year and 29-10 lifetime against the Houston franchise, the best record by one major league club against another with a minimum of 25 games played.
Samardzija, coming off back-to-back losses for the first time since joining the A's in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on July 4, was never in trouble in the first seven innings. Only one base runner made it as far as second, that being Marwin Gonzalez, who doubled with two out in the second inning.
All that changed in the eighth, when Jose Altuve beat out a two-out infield hit and former A's slugger Chris Carter delivered an opposite-field homer on an 0-2 pitch to cut the lead to one run.
The Astros gave the A's one of those runs back when lefty reliever Tony Sipp, who wouldn't have been able to locate home plate with a GPS, began the top of the ninth with four consecutive walks. That produced one run. Donaldson, who'd broken an RBI drought in the third inning, broke the game open with a two-run double, a hard grounder hugging the left field line.
Derek Norris added a two-run single to get the rally to five runs on just two hits as the lead swelled to 8-2.
Samardzija, 4-3 since joining the A's, was given a 1-0 lead in the third on a similar double from Donaldson. An inning later, his lead was 3-0 after Josh Reddick hit a two-run homer.
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