Jeff Samardzija made up for the spent bullpen Wednesday night with eight solid innings in a 13-1 win over the Astros Thursday afternoon.
The only blemish on the A’s new ace right-hander’s afternoon was a solo homer to former Athletics slugger Chris Carter in the top of the fourth, Carter’s 20th homer of the season.
Samardzija finished with a pitching line of one earned run on five hits and no walks while striking out six in eight innings pitched. Evan Scribner, called up in place Jim Johnson who was designated for assignment prior to the game, pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
Samardzija is now 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in four starts since being traded from the Cubs along with teammate Jason Hammel.
The A’s put up 13 runs in support of Samardzija to take two of three games from the Astros and finish the home stand 4-2.
Josh Donaldson got things started for Oakland with a RBI single in the bottom of the third to bring home Josh Reddick and move Eric Sogard to second base. Sogard stole third base and scored on a wild pitch from Scott Feldman with Brandon Moss batting for the A’s second run and Donaldson came around to score for the third run of the inning on Derek Norris’ RBI single to right field.
Coco Crisp tacked on a run in the fourth inning, bringing home Jed Lowrie on a sacrifice fly.
The big blow of the game came with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning. Moss connected for his third grand slam of the season, his 23rd homer of the season, to bring home Sogard, Crisp and Donaldson ahead of himself, pushing the score to 8-4. The A’s added their ninth run before the inning ended on a RBI single by Lowrie to bring home Norris.
With the game already out of reach, Oakland piled on in the eighth inning, putting four more runs on the scoreboard. Three runs came on one swing, a bases clearing double by Stephen Vogt. Reddick brought home Nate Freiman, pinch running for Vogt, for the final run of the game on a sacrifice fly to make it 13-1.
Reddick is now 4-for-10 since coming off the disabled list with three doubles. Reddick appeared to be coming around with his bat before the knee injury, so it’s a welcome sight that he has picked up where he left off after a solid rehab assignment.
The A’s will now go on the road for a three game set against the Rangers in Arlington, and then on to Houston for three games against the Astros before returning to the Coliseum next Friday.