Published January 13, 2015
Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss connected on back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning and the Oakland Athletics defeated the Houston Astros, 11-5, in the middle test of a three-game series.
Donaldson and Chris Young drove in two runs while, Coco Crisp, John Jaso, Seth Smith, Adam Rosales, Eric Sogard and Yoenis Cespedes each contributed with an RBI apiece to give the Athletics their seventh win in the last eight games.
Oakland starter A.J. Griffin (5-3) fanned seven and gave up four runs on five hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings.
"When your team is putting up runs for you like that, you can't complain," Griffin said..
Jason Castro and Matt Dominguez had a pair of homers for the Astros. Starter Lucas Harrell (3-6) lasted just 1 2/3 innings, surrendering six runs in the outing. Edgar Gonzalez pitched 4 1/3 innings of relief, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk.
"There's pretty much only two things to say about the game. It was embarrassing, and it was frustration," Harrell said.
The Astros struck first when Castro's solo shot sailed into the stands in right in the first.
However, the Athletics responded by scoring six runs in the second. Smith bunted to reach first, Donaldson singled and Moss drew a walk to load the bases.
Young's double scored Smith and Donaldson and Sogard's single plated Moss. Rosales ground out but brought Young home. Crisp hit a line drive to score Sogard and Smith ended the offensive output with a one-out RBI single.
Dominguez homered to start the third, but the Athletics tacked on another four runs in the fourth. Crisp walked to begin the frame and scored on a Jaso double. Cespedes singled, plating Jaso. After Smith grounded into a double play, Donaldson and Moss connected on back-to-back homers to give the A's an eight-run cushion.
Castro's second home run of the game started the home half. Two innings later, he smacked a single that scored Jose Altuve. Dominguez notched his second homer with one out in the seventh to cut the deficit to 10-5.
The Athletics added an insurance run in the eighth, when Donaldson ripped a double to left-center, scoring Smith.
Jesse Chavez pitched the final two innings for Oakland. He gave up a leadoff single to Jimmy Paredes in the ninth, but that was it.
Every Athletics starter had an RBI by the end of the fourth inning ... Young went 3-for-5 and has a 16-game hitting streak against Houston ... Dominguez and Castro are the first Astros players to have two home runs in the same game since Lance Berkman and Craig Biggio on July 25, 2005, against the Phillies.