Anderson fans 10, 3 HRs propel A’s over Astros 9-3
HOUSTON (AP) — Brett Anderson bent over to stuff some things into his suitcase, stood up and bumped his head into the open door at the top of his locker.
It was a fitting end to an up-and-down day for Oakland’s starting pitcher who got a win against Houston, but also deflected two Astros hits off his left thumb and wrist and needed X-rays after the game.
“It doesn’t feel great,” Anderson said of his wrist. “I got a couple other places on my body that doesn’t feel good now either with my head now and my wrist.”
Anderson struck out 10 more Houston batters and the Athletics backed him with three home runs for a 9-3 win Sunday and a three-game sweep of the Astros.
He got bruised on his thumb in the second inning and dinged on his wrist in the sixth.
“Other than the fact that I couldn’t get out of the way, it was a pretty good day,” Anderson said. “I pitched pretty decent, got some ground balls and some strikeouts and got a win.”
Coco Crisp homered for the third straight day, Jed Lowrie again connected against his former team and Chris Young homered in his hometown. The A’s sent Houston to its fifth straight loss.
The Astros, playing their first year in the American League, went 1-5 on their season-opening homestand against Texas and Oakland. They’ll now start a nine-game road trip to the West Coast against division opponents.
“You never look forward to going on the road, but it might be a fresh start to get on the road a little bit,” Houston’s Brandon Barnes said. “It’s just one of those things where we’ll try to go out and have fun.”
Anderson (1-1) and the A’s bullpen combined for 14 strikeouts. The Astros’ 74 strikeouts through the first six games are the most in major league history since 1921, STATS said. The previous mark was held by Colorado, which fanned 65 times through the first six games of 2004.
Houston has reached double-digit strikeouts in five games. All but one starting pitcher the Astros have faced has either set or tied a career high for strikeouts against them.
Anderson tied a career high for strikeouts in only six innings. He allowed two unearned runs and five hits.
Oakland right fielder J.J. Reddick was injured when he ran into the wall chasing a foul ball in the fifth inning. He sprained his right wrist when he fell trying to catch the fly by Marwin Gonzalez and is listed as day to day.
Reddick said after the game that he was sore and his palm was bruised. But he was relieved that X-rays were negative.
“I was scared,” Reddick said. “I was nervous that something was seriously wrong because I lost feeling in that area for quite a while. I never lost feeling in the fingers, so I knew it was a good sign.”
Lowrie, traded from Houston to Oakland in February, homered for the second straight game. He had a two-run drive in the third and finished with three hits.
Lowrie has started the season with a six-game hitting streak, going 13 for 23 with three homers, four doubles and six RBIs in that span.
Crisp added a solo shot in the fourth, giving him home runs in three straight games for the first time since 2008. Crisp went 7 for 14 in the series, including the three homers and four doubles.
“A lot of times when we’re playing well Coco is playing well,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “It kind of starts with him a lot of times being the leadoff guy and the catalyst we kind of get a lot of our momentum from him.”
Young stretched the lead to 8-0 with a three-run homer in the fifth. He grew up in Houston and extended his hitting streak against the Astros to 11 games.
Young has had more success against Houston than any other team he’s faced. He has four homers, five doubles and 16 RBIs during his current streak against the Astros, dating to Aug. 8, 2011. His .405 career average at Minute Maid Park is the second-highest by any player with at least 70 at-bats.
“I think it’s just coincidence,” he said. “I don’t know. There may be something to it. But I was just trying to get a ball up in the zone, and it was good timing with a couple of guys on base.”
Lucas Harrell (0-2) yielded seven hits and eight runs in 4 1-3 innings. It ended a streak of 31 straight starts in which he pitched five innings or more.
“The big key was not locating the ball,” Harrell said. “When you’re getting up in the zone and you’re a sinker-ball guy, it’s going to be a long day.”
NOTES: The Astros begin a series at Seattle on Monday when RHP Philip Humber opposes LHP Joe Saunders. ... The A’s are off Monday before opening a series against the Angels on Tuesday.