Athletics 6, Astros 3: Coco Crisp homered for the second straight game and Jed Lowrie added a solo shot in the sixth inning against his former club as visiting Oakland downed Houston.
Six different Athletics scored a run in support of Bartolo Colon (1-0), who made his first start after serving a 50-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The 39-year-old right-hander allowed three runs on eight hits over six frames and two relievers bridged the gap to Grant Balfour, who pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.
Bud Norris (1-1) held the lead entering the fifth, but was undone by an error and some timely hitting during Oakland’s four-run sixth – three of which came with two outs. The Astros’ ace needed 122 pitches to get through 5 2/3 innings and was charged with five runs – two earned – and six hits.
Crisp’s solo shot to left opened the scoring in the fourth, but Jason Castro countered with a three-run, opposite-field home run off Colon in the bottom of the inning. Lowrie trimmed the deficit to 3-2 when his fly ball off Norris’ slider carried into the right-field stands.
Josh Reddick reached on a fielding error by shortstop Ronny Cedeno one batter later, but Norris managed to retire the next two hitters before walking Brandon Moss and allowing Reddick to steal third. Josh Donaldson’s single drove in Reddick to tie the score, and Derek Norris and Eric Sogard greeted reliever Wesley Wright with back-to-back RBI singles to make it 5-3.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Castro’s homer was Houston’s first – and only the second all season – since Rick Ankiel’s three-run homer in the sixth inning in the season-opening win against Texas. … Oakland has tallied 28 runs and 42 hits over its last four games after managing one run and six hits over its first two contests. … Houston, which set a major league record by striking out 56 times over the first four games of the season, recorded only four Saturday.