HOUSTON -- The margin of error for the A's these days is small, and for a team with no hope of the postseason like the Houston Astros, the chance to be a spoiler is big.
A one-out error in the eighth inning with Oakland holding a one-run lead was followed in quick order by a hit batter and a three-run Chris Carter homer, the former A's first baseman handing Oakland a 4-2 loss Tuesday night.
The A's only had a one-run lead entering the eighth, but starter Jason Hammel had retired the final 10 batters he faced, and reliever Luke Gregerson got the first man he saw to start the eighth.
But Stephen Vogt, playing first base after pinch-hitting for starter Nate Freiman, couldn't handle a throw from second baseman Eric Sogard for the second out of the inning, and the eighth quickly unraveled on Oakland, which came into the game tied with the Angels for the American League West lead.
Carter, playing for a team 23 games out of first place, dismantled all of that with his 32nd homer, a shot to left estimated at 439 feet after Jose Altuve had been hit by a Gregerson pitch.
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