The Oakland Athletics will try to build momentum upon their dramatic finish on Friday as they continue their three-game series with the Houston Astros on Saturday night.
Trailing by two in the top of the ninth inning, Chris Young belted a three-run game-winning homer off of Jose Veras (0-3) to give Oakland a 6-5 victory. Young, a Houston native, finished 3-for-5 on the night.
"He's got quite the track record here in this ballpark," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of Young. "It seems like every time he comes here he ends up doing some big things."
Seth Smith delivered a pitch-hit home run in the sixth inning.
Pat Neshek (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth inning to earn the win and Grant Balfour shut the door in the bottom of the ninth for his 10th save.
Tommy Milone started the game for the A's, allowing eight hits and five earned runs over seven innings of work while striking out six.
Veras' third blown save of the season spoiled a solid outing from Erik Bedard, who allowed two earned runs in five innings.
"I didn't make the pitch that I was supposed to make (against Young), and then I paid for it," Veras said. "You fall behind, fall behind, and then you've got to pay one day."
All of Houston's production came in a five-run fifth inning, with Matt Dominguez and J.D. Martinez both homering.
A.J. Griffin will take the hill for Oakland on Saturday. Griffin is 4-3 with a 3.59 ERA on the season, and he most recently allowed three earned runs in six innings of work in a May 19 no-decision against Kansas City.
Griffin has strung together four straight quality starts in May, boasting a 2-1 record with a 2.36 ERA in the month.
The right-hander matched a season-high with eight strikeouts in an April 16 no-decision against the Astros, surrendering two earned runs in six innings of work.
For Houston, Lucas Harrell will toe the rubber looking to improve upon a disappointing start to the season (3-5, 4.63 ERA). He has lost three straight decisions.
Despite being saddled with the defeat against the Pirates his last time out on May 19, Harrell had arguably his best start of the season, allowing just four hits, a walk and an earned run over seven innings.
Houston has yet to beat Oakland in seven tries this season.