It’s been a pretty good season for the defending World Series champion Houston Astros, who have led the AL West for most of the year (including since June 13, when they were behind the Seattle Mariners), but they’re now in a slump, losing seven of their last eight games. Meanwhile, the Oakland A’s have come a long way since a 5-10 start to the season, and they wound up tied with the Astros for first Saturday after beating them 7-1 Saturday. As MLB.com’s Susan Slusser noted, it’s the first time the A’s have been at those heights in a while:
The Oakland A's, 12 games back two months ago, are tied for first place after beating the defending champion Astros 7-1. The last time Oakland held a share of first place outside of April was Aug. 25, 2014.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 18, 2018
This was the second game in that series, with Oakland winning the first one Friday 4-3 on a walk-off 10th-inning homer by Matt Olson (following a controversial overturned replay call in the ninth). Saturday’s wasn’t as close, with Trevor Cahill going seven innings and allowing just one hit while striking out seven and the offense coming to life, notching eight doubles to tie the franchise record. Here are three of those doubles from the 6th inning:
The A’s and Astros are both tied for the division lead at 74-49 right now, but Oakland’s definitely the hotter club at the moment. We’ll see if that continues as the series wraps up this afternoon. Both teams have to worry about the chasing Mariners too, though, and that could lead to a whole lot of AL West and wild-card race drama down the stretch.