Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jon Lester pitched seven strong innings as
the Oakland Athletics nabbed a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies to open
a three-game set.
With the win, the A's went a half-game ahead of the Royals, who lost to
Detroit on Friday, for the top wild card spot in the American League.
Lester (16-10) allowed one run on five hits with a pair of walks and seven
strikeouts to win his third straight start for the Athletics, who came into
the contest having gotten swept over three games by Texas.
Ryan Howard homered for the Phillies, who have lost five of their last six
games. David Buchanan (6-8) gave up three runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings
in the loss.
The A's jumped on top in the second inning with three runs. Adam Dunn singled
and Stephen Vogt walked two batters later. After Jed Lowrie struck out for the
second out of the inning, Derek Norris, Eric Sogard, and Coco Crisp followed
with three straight RBI singles.
Howard's 22nd home run of the season in the fourth got the Phillies on the
Oakland loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Justin De Fratus
kept it a two-run game by getting Josh Donaldson to pop out and end the
Freddy Galvis doubled to start the top of the eighth and moved to third on a
Ben Revere groundout. Carlos Ruiz then hit a grounder to third that Josh
Donaldson fielded and went home to get Galvis. Chase Utley then grounded out
to end the inning.
Sean Doolittle pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 22nd save of the season.
The last time these clubs met was in 2011, when the Phillies took two of three
in Philadelphia ... Philadelphia went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position
... Oakland stranded nine ... Lester improved to 4-0 in five career starts