Houston at Oakland

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Houston (5-13)001110000370
Oakland (12-5) «0010000034142

Reddick's single caps rally as A's stun skidding Astros

CBSSports.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Josh Reddick isn't ready to declare himself out of an early season batting slump, not after the miserable start he got off to.

A pair of solid games at the plate sure has the Oakland outfielder feeling a lot better about things, however.

Reddick had hits in his last three at-bats, including an RBI single that capped a three-run rally in the ninth inning that lifted the Athletics over the Houston Astros 4-3 on Saturday.

''It feels good again after the first week of going up there thinking, 'How am I even going to touch this baseball?'" Reddick said. ''It's a great turnaround, a great feeling to be back in the box with some confidence.''

Reddick's single off Houston reliever Chad Qualls was the fourth game-ending hit of his career and continued a recent offensive surge for Oakland's bearded outfielder. Reddick also had three hits and a home run in Friday's 11-3 win after starting the season in a 4-for-41 rut.

''Sometimes it only takes one game where you get a couple of hits or a couple of balls up [and] you start to feel a lot better about yourself,'' A's manager Bob Melvin said. ''I think it was just a matter of being more confident.''

Jed Lowrie started the A's comeback with a leadoff home run against Qualls (0-1).

Josh Donaldson walked and Yoenis Cespedes then singled. After Qualls struck out pinch-hitter John Jaso, Alberto Callaspo hit a tying single and Reddick followed with a one-out liner to right-center.

Dan Otero (3-0) pitched the ninth for the win after starter Scott Kazmir had gone eight strong innings.

Jonathan Villar homered and scored twice for Houston. The Astros lost their sixth in a row.

''We didn't finish it out,'' Houston manager Bo Porter said. ''Our bullpen has been taxed and he was the most rested. We had the right guys out there. We just didn't get it done.''

A day after scoring seven runs in the first inning and hitting four home runs overall, the A's were kept mostly quiet until their outburst in the ninth.

Oakland had stranded 12 runners through the first eight innings and left the bases loaded in the sixth. They also left the potential tying runs on base in the fifth and eighth.

''That's one of the best characteristics of this team,'' Lowrie said. ''We had that last year and we're off to a good start this year of really grinding out those last inning at-bats and making it tough on the other guys, never making it easy on them.''

The Athletics' rally in the ninth spoiled a solid effort from Houston starter Brett Oberholtzer, who allowed one run and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings but remains winless in four starts.

Oberholtzer pitched with runners on in each of the first five innings but limited the damage each time. He got Derek Norris to fly out with runners on the corners in the third, then speared Norris' comebacker and threw to first to get out of another two-out, two-on jam in the fifth.

Kazmir allowed two earned runs and six hits. He struck out five and walked none.

The Astros got to Kazmir early when Villar homered on an 0-2 pitch in the third. Villar also doubled off the wall in left-center in the fifth and scored on a throwing error by Norris, the catcher.

Oakland tied it at 1 when Craig Gentry, who crashed into the fence while backpedaling chasing after Villar's home run, hit an RBI double that scored Daric Barton.

Former A's first baseman Chris Carter doubled and scored on Matt Dominguez's RBI single in the fourth to put the Astros back in front.

The game was halted briefly with two outs in the top of the eighth when umpires lost track of the pitch count. A meeting was held near the mound before crew chief Mike Winters went to replay for clarification.

Notes

Cespedes reached on an infield single in the fifth to extend his hitting streak against Houston to 14 games. ... Astros rookie outfielder George Springer doubled in the ninth and has a hit in all four games since being called up from the minors on Wednesday. ... A's reliever Eric O'Flaherty, on the disabled list since undergoing Tommy John surgery in the offseason, threw another bullpen session and could be ready to face hitters by the time Oakland returns from its next road trip in early May. ... RHP Jesse Chavez, winless in three starts despite a 1.35 ERA, pitches the series finale for Oakland. RHP Brad Peacock (0-1) makes his first start for Houston after opening the season in the bullpen.

 
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Josh Reddick, who was in a 4-for-41 rut up until Friday, completes the A's three-run ninth-inning comeback.  (USATSI)
Josh Reddick, who was in a 4-for-41 rut up until Friday, completes the A's three-run ninth-inning comeback. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Oakland

S. Kazmir
IP 8.0
H 6
ER 2
BB 0
K 5
Houston

J. Villar
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Altuve, 2B4010001 .282
Dexter Fowler, CF4000011 .196
Jesus Guzman, 1B4000022 .200
George Springer, RF4010011 .278
Chris Carter, DH2110100 .132
Matt Dominguez, 3B4011002 .194
L.J. Hoes, LF4010022 .214
Carlos Corporan, C3000001 .167
Jonathan Villar, SS3221001 .212
Brett Oberholtzer, P0000000 .000
   Anthony Bass, P0000000 .000
   Matt Albers, P0000000 .000
   Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
Totals3237216  
Batting
2B - George Springer (1, Otero), Chris Carter (5, Kazmir), L.J. Hoes (1, Kazmir), Jonathan Villar (3, Kazmir)
HR - Jonathan Villar (3, Kazmir)
RBI - Matt Dominguez (5), Jonathan Villar (6)
SB - Jose Altuve 2 (7, 2nd base off Kazmir/Norris), Jonathan Villar (4, 2nd base off Kazmir/Norris)
Team LOB - 4
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brett Oberholtzer 5.2811230 3.04
Anthony Bass (H,1) 1.1000100 2.79
Matt Albers (H,3) 1200000 1.00
Chad Qualls (L,0-1; BS,1) 0.1433111 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Oberholtzer 94-63, Anthony Bass 24-14, Matt Albers 19-11, Chad Qualls 22-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Oberholtzer 4-10, Anthony Bass 1-3, Matt Albers 1-2
Batters Faced - Brett Oberholtzer 27, Anthony Bass 5, Matt Albers 5, Chad Qualls 6
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Craig Gentry, CF3021000 .412
   a-Coco Crisp, PH-CF1000102 .321
Jed Lowrie, SS5111005 .263
Josh Donaldson, 3B4110112 .247
Yoenis Cespedes, LF4120101 .261
Derek Norris, C3000104 .257
   b-John Jaso, PH1000012 .250
Alberto Callaspo, DH5011001 .327
Josh Reddick, RF5031011 .200
Nick Punto, 2B4030001 .276
Daric Barton, 1B3110013 .103
   c-Brandon Moss, PH-1B1000001 .263
Scott Kazmir, P0000000 .000
   Dan Otero, P0000000 .000
Totals39414444  
a-walked for Gentry in the 6th
b-struck out for Norris in the 9th
c-hit into fielder's choice for Barton in the 8th
Batting
2B - Craig Gentry (1, Oberholtzer), Josh Donaldson (5, Oberholtzer), Daric Barton (1, Oberholtzer)
HR - Jed Lowrie (2, Qualls)
RBI - Craig Gentry (1), Jed Lowrie (7), Alberto Callaspo (10), Josh Reddick (4)
SB - Craig Gentry (3, 3rd base off Oberholtzer/Corporan)
Team LOB - 14
Fielding
DP - Lowrie-Punto-Barton, Lowrie-Punto-Barton-Punto-Lowrie-Barton, Lowrie-Punto-Barton-Punto-Lowrie-Barton-Lowrie-Punto-Moss
E - Josh Donaldson (4, Misplayed grounder), Derek Norris (1, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Scott Kazmir 8632051 1.65
Dan Otero (W,3-0) 1100110 1.00
HBP - Carter (by Scott Kazmir)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 106-75, Dan Otero 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 14-4, Dan Otero 1-0
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 30, Dan Otero 4
Game Information
Attendance - 33166
Game Time - 3:07
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Seth Buckminster, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski