A's swept by Houston Astros after blowing late lead

HOUSTON -- Liam Hendriks let a 3-1 lead get away in the eighth inning as the Houston Astros scored three times after there were two out and no one on base for a 4-3 win and sweep the three-game series from the A's.

Taking over from Ross Detwiler, who had allowed just three hits and one run in seven innings, Hendriks got two quick outs before George Springer tripled to the corner of the slope in center field.

Hendriks thought he was out of trouble a few moments later when he got Alex Bregman to swing at strike three, but the ball got through catcher Bruce Maxwell for a wild pitch as Springer scored.

Jose Altuve then tied the game with a triple to right-center, and after Carlos Correa was intentionally walked, Evan Gattis delivered the game-winning single to left.

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Ken Giles worked through the A's in the top of the ninth to close out Oakland's 76th loss against 57 wins.

Detwiler's performance was his best since his Aug. 10 debut, when he threw eight scoreless innings in a 1-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

The A's gave him early support with a three-run second inning with a two-run triple by Jake Smolinski standing as the centerpiece.

Detwiler only had one bout of wildness, and it cost him a run. He opened the fourth with a walk to Bregman and uncorked a wild pitch before Correa delivered a run-scoring double.

The Astros only had one base runner after the fourth inning and Detwiler wound up retiring 10 of the last 11 batters he faced before turning the game over to the bullpen to start the eighth inning.

Joey Wendle, making his first Major League appearance, hit a bullet up the middle in his first at-bat in the second inning. It might well have been a hit were it not for the fact that the Astros had scouted him and had shifted toward the right. So shortstop Carlos Correa was right there, but the ball handcuffed him, giving the A's an opportunity.

Smolinski, batting against Mike Fiers with one out and two on, lashed a line drive that got down in left-center and skipped past center fielder Jake Marisnick. Both Yonder Alonso, who had singled, and Wendle raced home to score.

And after Bruce Maxwell's sacrifice fly made it 3-0, the 58-75 A's were in position to emerge from the six-game road trip with a 3-3 split, but Hendriks couldn't close it out.

-- Wendle's wife Lindsey, and parents Carol and Scott were all able to make it to Houston on short notice to see his Major League debut. He was due to be promoted after the rosters expand on Sept. 1, but got early notice with the trade of Coco Crisp to the Indians that was completed Wednesday morning. ``This is definitely an exciting time for me,'' Wendle said. ``Sooner than I expected, but very exciting.''

-- Stephen Vogt doubled, singled and singled in his first three at-bats.

-- Lefty reliever Sean Doolittle will come off the disabled list and be active for the A's Friday in Oakland as the Red Sox come in for a three-game series. Manager Bob Melvin said Doolittle's last two injury rehab games have been ``the best he's thrown yet.'' Doolittle hit 94 mph on the radar gun Tuesday with Nashville.

-- Lefty starter Sean Manaea won't make his next scheduled start Sunday, that going instead to Kendall Graveman. Manaea will get some extra time off after hurting his back in his last start Monday.

-- Oakland is leaving Saturday's starting berth open. It's likely that Daniel Mengden, who has been up with the A's multiple times this season, will get the call.

-- Melvin said Brett Eibner, who'd already begun to get some playing time and who was in Wednesday's starting lineup, has a chance to get the most benefit from the trade of Coco Crisp in terms of playing time. He will get a look in center, the manager said, in addition to left and right.

-- With both Crisp and Billy Burns having been traded recently, A's general manager David Forst said the club will be looking for leadoff hitters now and in the offseason. He also said speed wasn't the only factor, that on-base percentage is at the core of what the club needs.

-- With Wendle coming up from Nashville, the Sounds got a replacement in shortstop Franklin Barreto, who is widely seen as the best shortstop prospect in the Oakland organization. He was promoted from Double-A Midland as day after the 74-59 RockHounds became the first Texas League team in over a century to win three consecutive league titles.

-- Second baseman Jed Lowrie was scheduled to undergo foot surgery Wednesday. He's been on the disabled list since Aug. 4 and had been limping for about five weeks before that.

For more on the A's, see John Hickey's Inside the A's blog at ibabuzz.com/athletics. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JHickey3.