The A's bats had been silent all night, really for the entire series.
Through 17 innings, Oakland had mustered just one run on five hits against the mighty Houston Astros. The A's were staring directly at an 0-2 series hole, with Justin Verlander looming in Wednesday's finale.
That's when Matt Olson changed everything with one swing of the bat. Following a leadoff walk by Marcus Semien and an opposite-field single by Matt Chapman, Olson blasted a mammoth three-run home run off Astros closer Roberto Osuna to give Oakland a 3-2 lead. The A's would go on to win 4-3 in 11 innings, arguably the biggest victory of the season.
"It's up there," Olson told NBC Sports California. "(Astros starter Wade) Miley obviously was having his way with us while he was out there. Sometimes it's just a change of pitching and we can get on a roll. That was kind of the case today."
Miley tossed eight shutout innings before allowing Semien and Chapman to reach base in the ninth. That's when Astros manager A.J. Hinch turned to Osuna, his flame-throwing closer.
The right-hander quickly jumped ahead of Olson with a pair of mid-90s fastballs. Olson fouled off an 0-2 fastball, followed by an 0-2 changeup to stay alive. Osuna came back with another fastball and Olson jumped all over it, sending it to the upper deck in right field.
"I just wanted to be ready for the heater," Olson said. "I know he likes to mix in some changeups and cutters, but at the end of the day, he wants to beat you with the heater. I went in there and told myself not to be late on it. I battled off a couple of pitches here and there, swung through one, and then finally got one over the plate."
Prior to the home run, Olson had been 0-for-17 against the Astros this season. As a team, the A's were just 1-8 against Houston, getting outscored 53-21. That's what made Tuesday's win even more meaningful.
"That was huge," A's starter Mike Fiers told reporters. "That's why I love this team. We're never out of it."
Added manager Bob Melvin: "To have the resiliency to come back after really doing nothing for the better part of the game until the last inning -- Marcus and Chappy get on base with a walk and a hit and then Oly does what Oly does -- that was a great feeling."
[RELATED: A's inquired about Marcus Stroman]
The A's still trail Houston by 6 1/2 games in the AL West, but a loss would've made it 8 1/2 games. Oakland also pulled within one game of Cleveland for the top AL wild-card position. The A's lead Boston and Tampa Bay by two games for the second spot.
Instead of facing the strong possibility of a Houston sweep, the A's now have a chance to win the series on Wednesday. Of course, that won't be easy with Verlander starting for the Astros. But then again, he can't be any better than Miley was Tuesday night, and the A's won anyway.