4:05 PM ET, April 19, 2014
O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California
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).
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.
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.
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.
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 19: Craig Gentry #3 of the Oakland Athletics can not catch a home run ball hit by Jonathan...(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|Oakland leads 11-8 (as of Sat 4/19)|
|Fri 4/18||@OAK 11, HOU 3||Recap|
|» Sat 4/19||@OAK 4, HOU 3||Box Score|
|Sun 4/20||@OAK 4, HOU 1||Recap|
|Thu 4/24||OAK 10, @HOU 1||Recap|
|Fri 4/25||OAK 12, @HOU 5||Recap|
|Sat 4/26||@HOU 7, OAK 6||Recap|
|Sun 4/27||@HOU 5, OAK 1||Recap|
|Tue 7/22||HOU 3, @OAK 2||Recap|
|Wed 7/23||@OAK 9, HOU 7||Recap|
|Thu 7/24||@OAK 13, HOU 1||Recap|
|Mon 7/28||@HOU 7, OAK 3||Recap|
|Tue 7/29||OAK 7, @HOU 4||Recap|
|Wed 7/30||@HOU 8, OAK 1||Recap|
|Mon 8/25||OAK 8, @HOU 2||Recap|
|Tue 8/26||@HOU 4, OAK 2||Recap|
|Wed 8/27||OAK 5, @HOU 4||Recap|
|Fri 9/5||HOU 4, @OAK 3||Recap|
|Sat 9/6||@OAK 4, HOU 3||Recap|
|Sun 9/7||HOU 4, @OAK 3||Recap|
|Complete Schedule: Astros | Athletics|
|3rd||J Villar homered to right center (403 feet).||1||0|
|3rd||C Gentry doubled to left, D Barton scored.||1||1|
|4th||M Dominguez singled to center, C Carter scored.||2||1|
|5th||J Villar stole third, J Villar scored on throwing error by catcher D Norris.||3||1|
|9th||J Lowrie homered to right (352 feet).||3||2|
|9th||A Callaspo singled to center, J Donaldson scored, Y Cespedes to third.||3||3|
|9th||J Reddick singled to deep center, Y Cespedes scored, A Callaspo to second.||3||4|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA|
|Attendance||33,166 (94.6% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||58 degrees, sunny|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Mike Winters, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Seth Buckminster, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski|
Scott Kazmir has allowed a .159 batting average after the first time through a batting order, ninth lowest among qualified pitchers. As a team, the Astros are hitting .211 against starting pitchers after the lineup turns over the first time, tied for the second-lowest mark in the league.
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