OAKLAND (AP) — Josh Donaldson’s eighth-inning triple drove in Josh Reddick for the winning run and Oakland Athletics overcame starter A.J. Griffin’s early struggles for a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
Reddick drew a two-out walk off reliever Rhiner Cruz (0-1) and took off for second just before Donaldson’s hit down the right field line landed just fair. Houston outfielder Rick Ankiel made a diving attempt but came up short as Reddick raced around the bases.
Eric Sogard added a career-high three hits for the A’s, who have won all five games against the Astros this season.
Carlos Pena homered for Houston, which has lost four straight.
Grant Balfour pitched the ninth for his second save in as many chances after Sean Doolittle (1-0) gave up Pena’s tying home run.
Oakland improved to 11-0 when scoring four runs or more.
The A’s have also won 10 straight games against teams from the AL West, the club’s longest single-season stretch since a 13-game streak in 1994.
They did it despite a shaky outing from Griffin.
He struggled with his control early and allowed a career-high four walks, but recovered to retire the final 11 batters he faced before giving way to the bullpen.
Oakland had to come from behind for one of the few times this season.
Houston got four hits off Griffin in the third to take a 2-0 lead.
Marwin Gonzalez doubled and scored following singles by Jose Altuve and Justin Maxwell. Former A’s prospect Chris Carter added a one-out RBI single before Houston loaded the bases again, but Griffin struck out J.D. Martinez, and first baseman Shane Peterson made a diving catch on Ankiel’s sharp liner to end the inning.
Oakland pulled within 2-1 when Chris Young singled with two outs in the fourth, stole second and third, and scored on a wild pitch by Houston starter and former A’s minor leaguer Brad Peacock.
Sogard doubled with one out in the fifth. Coco Crisp tripled to drive in Sogard then scored on Seth Smith’s single off reliever Dallas Keuchel to put the A’s up 3-2.
Pena tied the game with his solo shot, his first of the season, off Doolittle with two outs in the eighth, tied the game at 3-all.
A day after the bombings at the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured more than 170, the A’s paid tribute to the victims in the middle of the eighth inning when “Sweet Caroline” played over the loudspeakers while the words “Tonight we are all Bostonians” flashed on the scoreboard.
NOTES: The A’s tied a franchise record with three triples. ... Injured Houston OF Fernando Martinez went hitless in six at-bats during the first two games of his rehab assignment. Martinez has been on the disabled list since the start of the season. ... Astros RHP Bud Norris (2-1) carries a 1.96 ERA into the series finale Wednesday afternoon. ... RHP Bartolo Colon (1-0) goes for Oakland. ... A’s INF Scott Sizemore had surgery to repair the torn ACL in his left knee. Sizemore played in just two games after missing all of 2012 with the same injury. ... Oakland 1B Brandon Moss was placed on the paternity list before the game to attend the birth of his son. The A’s recalled Peterson from Triple-A Sacramento.