A's score early, hold on to sweep Astros
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Jed Lowrie had two hits, one RBI and one run scored, while Bartolo Colon pitched six strong innings as the Oakland Athletics swept a three-game series from the Houston Astros for the second time this season with a 7-5 victory.
Josh Reddick drove in two runs with a double for Oakland, which has won 12 of 14 after dropping its first two games of the season. John Jaso added an RBI, two hits and a run scored and Seth Smith went 3-for-5.
Colon (2-0) yielded one run on four hits and struck out three in the victory.
"We're getting contributions up and down the lineup and that's why we've been consistent so far," Lowrie said.
Carlos Pena and Rick Ankiel each hit solo homers for the Astros, who have dropped five straight. Starter Bud Norris (2-2) lasted only two-thirds of an inning and gave up six runs on five hits while walking three batters. He threw 46 pitches before exiting.
Norris also struggled in a 6-3 loss to Oakland on April 6, allowing five runs - two earned - while throwing 122 pitches in 5 2/3 innings.
Houston made it a 1-0 game in the first inning. With one out, Chris Carter's fielder's choice scored Jose Altuve, who singled to lead off the frame.
The lead was short-lived, though, as Jaso doubled just inside the left-field line to lead off the first frame for the home team. Chris Young plated Jaso to make it 1-1 with a single to left-center. After Smith hit an infield single, Lowrie drew a walk to load the bases with no outs.
Josh Donaldson fouled out to first base, but Reddick followed and made the most of the opportunity with a two-run double to right field to make it 3-1. Derek Norris walked to once again load the bases and Eric Sogard hit a line drive through the right side scoring Lowrie.
The inning still wasn't done, as Shane Peterson drew a walk to make it 5-1 and Jaso, batting for the second time in the frame, hit a fielder's choice to second base scoring Norris which made it 6-1. Lowrie's fielders choice in the fourth scored Peterson to make it 7-1.
The Astros still trailed by six in the seventh, before Pena came through with a one-out solo blast to right to make it 7-2. Later in the frame, Marwin Gonzalez singled to center to score Brandon Barnes and Altuve followed with an RBI single to right to cut the deficit to 7-4.
Ankiel knocked a pinch-hit solo home run to right-center in the ninth off Grant Balfour. After Matt Dominguez singled to left, Balfour got Gonzalez to ground into a force out at second and Altuve's chopper turned into an easy double play which ended the game and gave the righty reliever his third save of the year.
"I don't believe in moral victories; you either win or lose," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "But at the same time I liked that we kept fighting."
Colon beat the Astros in his first start of the year and is 5-2 over eight starts in his career ... Norris joined fellow Astros pitcher Erik Bedard (April 15 versus Oakland) as the second Houston starter this season to last two-thirds innings or fewer and allow six-plus earned runs ... Oakland has won 11 straight versus AL West foes.
04/17 20:51:30 ET