OAKLAND — The worst team in baseball defeated the A's for the third time in four head-to-head meetings with a 2-1 win at O.co Coliseum on Wednesday.
The Houston Astros broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the 11th when Carlos Corporan doubled to center off Sean Doolittle (3-4) with one out, scoring Jose Altuve, who reached base with a single.
The A's spoiled an opportunity to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning after Eric Sogard led off with a double to right. First, Alberto Callaspo popped up a bunt to the pitcher, then Jed Lowrie and Josh Reddick struck out
Chris Young, who missed a walkoff home run by less than an inch Tuesday, almost ended the game with a shot to left in the 10th, but this time he was robbed by Robbie Grossman, who jumped and snagged the ball before it sailed over the fence.
With the loss, the A's fell to two games behind the Texas Rangers in American League West standings. They lead the Baltimore Orioles by 2 1/2 games for the final AL wild-card spot.
The A's (67-52) are now 11-3 against the Astros (39-80) this season after winning the first 11 games.
For the first seven innings, the game was an old-fashioned pitchers' duel between the A's Jarrod Parker and Astros rookie sensation Jarred Cosart.
First baseman Chris Carter, who was traded to the Astros in the offseason, broke a scoreless tie in the seventh by sending Parker's first pitch of the inning over the left-field fence.
Brandon Moss tied it up in the bottom of the seventh, scoring Yoenis Cespedes from first with a double to the left-center gap. But Astros reliever Philip Humber retired the next three A's batters — Josh Donaldson, Stephen Vogt and Young — stranding Moss at second base.
Parker pitched 8 1/3 innings, scattering eight hits and surrendering one run.
Notes: Catcher John Jaso's immediate future remains in doubt after his meeting with a sports-related concussion specialist. Jaso, who's been sidelined since July 24, met with Dr. Michael Collins in Pittsburgh this week and was not cleared to participate in baseball-related activities. Melvin said the team has no timetable for his return. ... A's outfielder Coco Crisp received a cortisone injection in his left wrist on Tuesday. Melvin said he could be used as a pinch-runner today. ... Melvin said catcher Derek Norris, who missed the last four games with back spasm, will likely start today.