The Oakland Athletics have kept their postseason hopes alive after a dramatic 9-7 win over the Houston Astros in Game 3.
Facing elimination down 0-2 in the American League Division Series and down three runs in Wednesday's game, Chad Pinder helped the A's come back with a game-tying home run in the seventh:
The team scratched two more runs across in the eighth inning to take the lead, with Pinder adding his fourth RBI of the day.
Closer Liam Hendriks took care of the rest with three scoreless innings to complete a hard-earned save.
The Athletics had lost five straight games when facing elimination entering this postseason but came through in the decisive Game 3 in the wild-card round against the Chicago White Sox. The team will hope this confidence will help turn things around in the ALDS.
Houston had won four straight games to begin its playoff run but the No. 6 seed in the AL must regroup after the latest loss.
Chad Pinder, 3B, OAK: 3-for-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Tommy La Stella, 2B, OAK: 2-for-3, 1 HR, 2 R
Jesus Luzardo, SP, OAK: 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 2 K
Liam Hendriks, RP, OAK: 3 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 4 K
Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU: 3-for-5, 1 HR
Michael Brantley, LF, HOU: 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 2 R
Jose Urquidy, SP, HOU: 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 4 HR, 3 K
Home Runs Lift Athletics to Come-From-Behind Victory
The A's showcased their power early in this game, with Tommy La Stella, Mark Canha, Matt Olson and Marcus Semien each going yard in the first few innings:
The production put the team in rare territory for the franchise:
Sarah Langs @SlangsOnSports
The A's have hit 5 HR today, tied for their most in a postseason game in franchise history, and 2nd-most by any team in a game in postseason history Other A's PS game with 5 HR: 1989 World Series Game 3 HR hit by: Dave Henderson (2), Tony Phillips, José Canseco, Carney Lansford
After the Astros regained control of the game with a three-run lead going into the seventh, Chad Pinder then came through with an enormous game-tying shot.
It continues an impressive stretch of clutch play from the third baseman during the playoffs:
The team showed great resolve by fighting back and eventually taking the lead in the eighth on a pair of sacrifice flies, utilizing small ball to get ahead:
This type of production with the backs against the wall could prove that this A's team has what it takes to keep winning in the playoffs.
Deep Astros Lineup Proves It's Still Dangerous
Many mocked the Astros for their struggles in the regular season, ranking 20th in the majors with a .240 batting average and just 14th in runs scored.
The team has showed in this series there is still a lot of talent in the lineup.
Jose Altuve kicked things off for Houston with a home run, his first of the postseason:
It was part of a 3-for-5 day for the former MVP, who hit just .219 during the regular season.
After going down 4-2 in the fifth inning, the Astros then took control of the game with a five-run fifth:
By this point, it was clear Houston was back as a dominant offense:
Six different players had at least one RBI in the game, creating unique challenges for opposing pitchers.
The pitching didn't hold up its end of the bargain, though, with Jose Urquidy allowing four runs in his start and Josh James struggling out of the bullpen. This kept the team from winning Game 3, but it's clear the Astros are going to be a tough team to wrench the series from.
The two teams will return for Game 4 Thursday at 3:35 p.m. ET; neither team has announced a starter.