Phi 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Oak 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 3
Date of game: 9/19/2014

Recap: Oakland vs. Philadelphia

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.

"You feel like you don't have to score many runs for him, because he's going to do his job," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Lester. "Every time out there, he's deep into games. He's 110-plus pitches, and he comes out with the lead. That's all you can ask of him."

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.

"They found some holes with their hits," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "We had a couple of opportunities, but we couldn't get the big hit."

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 board.

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 inning.

Freddy Galvis doubled to start the top of the eighth and moved to third on a Ben Revere groundout. Carlos Ruiz then tried a suicide squeeze and he laid a bunt down to third, but Josh Donaldson fielded it 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.

Game Notes

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 against Philadelphia.

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