HOUSTON (AP) — Kendall Graveman continued his string of good outings Saturday, with arguably his best start of the season.
He threw eight solid innings and Stephen Vogt had three hits, including a homer, as the Oakland Athletics held on to beat the Houston Astros 3-2 on Saturday.
Graveman (5-6) allowed two runs on five hits and struck out three in extending his win streak to four games. The outing tied the longest of his career at eight innings, which he set June 13, 2015 at the Angels. He retired the first 14 batters to start the game before A.J. Reed singled with two outs in the fifth.
"I think the movement of the fastball was as good as I have had it," Graveman said. "I commanded it very well. There were some I missed location, but the movement took over, so we still got groundballs."
Graveman has allowed two runs or less in five of his last six starts.
"His last three or four starts the movement from what he's trying to accomplish out there has been the same," Oakland manager Bob Melvin. "But getting that deep in the game with the pitch count low is probably the best I've seen."
Vogt hit a solo home run to left field in the second, an RBI single in the third and came around to score on a Marcus Semien bases loaded walk that made it 3-0.
"I got some pitches to hit and strung together some at bats and drove the ball the other way," Vogt said.
Graveman was replaced by Ryan Dull after allowing singles to Jake Marisnick and Marwin Gonzalez to lead off the ninth. Marisnick scored on a Jose Altuve groundout to third.
Dull induced a Carlos Correa pop-up before Luis Valbuena hit an RBI single to cut the lead to one, but Dull struck out Carlos Gomez to earn his first save.
"We're going to keep fighting and we play until the end," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "Sometimes when you can't score or you don't hit, there's a dullness to the game and there's a lack of energy or enthusiasm, but our guys don't quit."
Coco Crisp had two hits after serving a one-game suspension Friday, and Josh Reddick had two hits, including a triple.
Lance McCullers (4-3) allowed three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and four walks in a season-low four innings. The right-hander had allowed four runs over his previous three starts before Saturday.
Astros: OF Colby Rasmus was out of the lineup for a second straight game due to an ear infection. "He's still not feeling well," Hinch said. "He would have played today and yesterday if he would have felt up for it, but it sounds like he's still a little under the weather." . RHP Scott Feldman, who threw 3 2_3 scoreless innings, left the game in the ninth. After allowing a single to Jed Lowrie to lead off the ninth, Hinch went out to the mound with the trainer to look at Feldman. Following two warm-up pitches, Feldman was replaced by Chris Devenski. Hinch said Feldman was a little stiff, but it was a precautionary move, and he was day-to-day.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (3-5) will try to right the ship on the road Sunday when he takes the mound for the final game before the All Star break. Manaea is 0-3 with an 11.66 ERA in three road starts this season.
Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (6-9) will look to pick up his fourth straight victory Sunday. Keuchel allowed two runs on five hits in his last outing Tuesday against the Mariners.
DULL'S STREAK ENDS
Dull had stranded all 36 runners he had faced entering Saturday, but that streak came to an end on the Altuve fielder's choice groundout in the ninth. The streak of inherited runners stranded was the longest by any pitcher in the expansion era, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"You knew it was going to eventually happen, especially in that situation," Dull said. "I was going to do anything to get the double play because that would help us more than that one run. I would gladly sacrifice it to get the double play there."