A's make statement to rest of MLB by winning final three vs. Astros


If we thought the Astros made a strong statement in their 15-0 win Monday night, what do we call the A's response over the next three days?

Oakland finished off a magnificent series victory over Houston with a 3-2 win Thursday night, taking three of four from the mighty Astros for the second time in a month.

It's hard to overstate how impressive this series was for the green and gold. Houston entered with a league-best home record of 55-17 and hadn't lost three straight home games all season. Oakland took care of that.

"It's a good team and we want to come in and show that we can compete against these guys," A's first baseman Matt Olson told NBC Sports California. "We're making a push for that wild card right now and to be able to keep some good baseball going is big."

With Thursday's win, the A's moved into the top wild-card position, half a game ahead of Tampa Bay and one game ahead of Cleveland. Oakland also improved to a season-high 27 games over .500 at 87-60.

"That's big for us," Oakland manager Bob Melvin told reporters. "We played well against (the Astros) at our place and this is probably the toughest place in the American League to play. So to be able to come in and take three out of four, and do it in different fashions every night, it felt good."

The A's have now won 19 of their last 27 games and they've done it against some of the best competition in baseball. In addition to winning six of their last eight games against the Astros, Oakland took four of six from the league-leading Yankees last month.

"This is what it's all about," Olson said. "It makes it that much better when notching out these close wins matters a lot for us. It brings us closer. Everybody's pulling together."

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From here on out, the schedule lightens up a great deal. Oakland has 15 games remaining, with none of them coming against teams with winning records.

If the A's can take care of business in these final five series, they'll be postseason-bound for the second straight year. And the way they're playing, you better believe no one wants to face them.

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