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‘Crisp’ start to A’s victory

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POSTED April 6, 2013 2:30 a.m.

HOUSTON (AP) — Coco Crisp hit a leadoff homer and added two doubles in Oakland’s big fifth inning, and the Athletics got an 8-3 win over the Houston Astros on Friday.

Crisp sent the fourth pitch of the night over the wall in the corner of right field for his ninth career leadoff homer.

Dan Straily (1-0) allowed five hits and struck a career-high 11 in 6 2-3 solid innings for the win.

The Athletics were up 1-0 when Crisp doubled with one out in the fifth to chase Houston starter Brad Peacock (0-1). His second double drove in two runs later in Oakland’s seven-run fifth.

Josh Donaldson added a two-run single in that inning as the Athletics visited the Astros for just the second time and the first since 2007.

They’ll get plenty acquainted with Minute Maid Park this season though. Oakland makes two more trips to Houston with the Astros joining the AL West.

Houston set a major league record for the most strikeouts in the first three games of the season with 43.

This team, which has the league’s lowest payroll and is coming off consecutive 100-loss seasons, continued its torrid strikeout pace Friday by adding 13. Each of the four starters the Astros have faced this season have either set or tied career highs in strikeouts against them.

Straily allowed a single to Chris Carter with two outs in the first inning before retiring 13 of the next 14 batters. Houston’s next hit came when Marwin Gonzalez doubled down the right field line to start Houston’s sixth. The Astros scored for the first time in 24 1-3 innings when Jose Altuve drove in Gonzalez with a single to make it 8-1.

Justin Maxwell doubled with no outs in the seventh off Straily. He was replaced by Pat Neshek with two outs, and Neshek allowed an RBI single to Matt Dominguez.

Peacock allowed three hits and two runs with five strikeouts in 4 1-3 innings in his first major league appearance since 2011. It was his debut with the Astros after being traded from the Athletics with Carter for Jed Lowrie just before spring training.

Peacock, who spent last season in Triple-A, had retired eight in a row before he was chased by Crisp’s double with one out in the fifth inning.

He was replaced by Xavier Cedeno, who struggled with command from the beginning. He walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases before an error by shortstop Gonzalez allowed Yoenis Cespedes to reach and two runs scored.

A sacrifice bunt by John Jaso drove home another run before Chris Young walked to load the bases again. Donaldson singled in a pair of runs on a line drive to right field to push the lead to 6-0.

Cedeno then plunked Eric Sogard before being replaced by Rhiner Cruz without recording an out.

Cruz retired one batter before Crisp hit his second double of the inning, this one to drive in two runs and make it 8-0.

Lowrie walked before the Astros finally got out of that inning when Maxwell grabbed a long fly from Josh Reddick, the 13th batter of the inning.

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