Houston, TX – Josh Reddick's two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the Oakland Athletics to a 4-3 win over the Houston Astros in the opener of a three-game set at Minute Maid Park.
Chris Young added two hits, including a solo homer, and Grant Green drove in a run for the Athletics, who have won 12 straight over the Astros.
Ryan Cook (3-2) earned the win after tossing a perfect seventh inning and Grant Balfour picked up his 26th save of the season and has converted a franchise-record 44 straight saves chances dating back to last season.
Chris Carter and J.D. Martinez each drove in a run for the Astros, losers in six straight.
Wesley Wright (0-4) gave up Reddick's homer in the eighth to absorb the loss. Starter Dallas Keuchel gave up one run on five hits and four walks over six innings.
"This is definitely a ball game we should have won. We put ourselves in position to win after getting the lead early. We just did not execute pitches late in the game and it cost us," said Astros manager Bo Porter.
Oakland went into the eighth inning trailing 3-2. Nate Freiman opened the frame with a single off Hector Ambriz. After getting Derek Norris to line out, Ambriz was replaced by Wright, who served up the go-ahead homer to right field.
Jose Altuve opened the bottom of the eighth with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Sean Doolittle to put the tying run in scoring position. Oakland, though, got a strike-out throw-out double-play and Altuve was caught trying to steal third.
Houston scored one run in the second and two in the third to jump out to a 3-0 lead. In the second, Justin Maxwell doubled then stole third. Martinez followed with a grounder to shortstop, but Jed Lowrie's throw was off target allowing Maxwell to score.
In the third, Jonathan Villar reached on a bunt single, his first career hit, then quickly stole second base. After Oakland starter Tommy Milone retired the next two hitters, Carter singled home Villar. Carter then came around after Green was unable to handle Maxwell's grounder to second.
The A's broke through in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Green lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Josh Donaldson.
Young's solo homer in the seventh off Travis Blackley made it 3-2.
"Fortunately, (Young) came up with a big at-bat," Reddick said. "I think that got the energy up in the dugout that we really needed to get going, especially since we left so many runners on base early on. After that happened it kind of picked us up a little bit."
The A's are 49-0 when leading after the eighth inning ... Balfour is the only closer in the majors without a blown save this season ... Milone gave up three runs -- two earned -- on five hits over six innings ... Houston was 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.