OAKLAND -- Evan Gattis hit two home runs, including the first of back-to-back shots with Marwin Gonzalez during a seven-run second inning, and the streaking Houston Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 13-5 on Wednesday night for their seventh straight win.
The defending World Series champs moved a season-high 19 games over .500. This is Houston's longest winning streak since taking seven in a row from Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2017.
Oakland outfielder Jake Smolinski became the first A's position player to pitch in a game since utility player Tyler Ladendorf on June 3, 2016. Smolinski allowed a leadoff double to Max Stassi and a two-run home run to Marisnick in the ninth, then retired the next three batters.
One night after homering and setting a career-high with five RBIs, Gattis had another huge day at the plate. He drove in five again, becoming the first player in franchise history to drive in five in consecutive games.
The Astros' slugger had a sacrifice fly in the first inning, hit a three-run home run off A's starter Paul Blackburn (1-1) in the second then went deep again with a solo blast off Emilio Pagan in the seventh. Gattis also walked in the eighth.
Gattis' 10 RBIs in two games also ties an Astros record.
Cole allowed allowed a season-high four runs over six uneven innings, including two home runs, but benefited from the early cushion. The AL leader in strikeouts fanned six and yielded six hits with two walks.
That gives Houston three eight-game winners - Cole, Thursday's starter Justin Verlander (8-2) and Tuesday's winner Lance McCullers (8-3).
The Astros flexed their defensive muscle in the eighth after Matt Olson reached on an error. Marisnick made a leaping catch in center to rob Matt Chapman of a home run, then threw to second baseman Tony Kemp, who relayed to first to double up Olson.
Athletics: Chapman made another handful of stellar defensive plays at third base, one night after getting hit in the left hand by a 92.3 mph fastball from Astros reliever Collin McHugh.
Verlander (8-2, 2.58 ERA) makes his 15th start in the series finale for Houston on Thursday. Among qualifying pitchers, Verlander leads the majors in ERA and is second in innings pitched (93 1/3) and third in strikeouts (113). Right-hander Frankie Montas (3-0, 1.25) goes for Oakland.