OAKLAND -- What could have been the greatest moment of Nate Freiman's first year in the big leagues in the A's 11-2 victory over Houston was tempered by his concerns for the Boston area that was rocked by bombs during the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Freiman grew up near the route the marathon has covered for more than a century, and he said he loved going to watch the runners and maybe taking in a Red Sox game on Patriot's Day.
He was in the lineup Monday for only the fourth time in 14 A's games. The A's already had scored three times off Erik Bedard on a bases-loaded wild pitch and Brandon Moss' two-run single when Freiman teed off on a 1-2 pitch and reached the concrete bleachers in left field.
Freiman enjoyed the home run trot, but not as much as he might have envisioned.
"It was bittersweet," the designated hitter said. "I grew up about the halfway point of the marathon. Every Patriot's Day we used to go out there and watch the runners."
Word got to Freiman that his family was fine, but the deaths and injuries that resulted from the bombs were still with him after he had gotten a celebratory postgame pie in the face from teammate Jose Reddick.
"It was a great night here," Freiman said. "But Boston is in our prayers."
Freiman, picked up from the Astros as a Rule 5 player during the last week of spring training, got the hit that gave Tommy Milone a 6-0 lead. The left-hander nursed that for 62/3 innings and 100 pitches while improving to 3-0.
"That was an awesome job by Nate," Milone said. "We've been waiting for it. It was just a matter of time before he got that first one."
Milone became the first A's starter since 1990 to win his first three starts. Dave Stewart began that season 6-0.
"It was nice to get out to that early lead," said Milone, who gave up eight hits but no walks. "It makes each at-bat a little easier."
Milone throws a lot of strikes (71 of 100 pitches thrown Monday), he doesn't walk many (four in three starts), and he keeps batters off balance.
"His consistency is amazing," manager Bob Melvin said. "He didn't have his best stuff, but he's always been the model of consistency."
It was not so for Astros starter Erik Bedard, who walked the first three batters, Coco Crisp, Derek Norris and Chris Young, on 16 pitches. After Jed Lowrie struck out, Bedard's wild pitch brought Crisp home before Josh Donaldson walked, reloading the bases.
Moss' single made it 3-0, then Freiman unloaded on the frustrated Bedard with a rocket launch that doubled the score and sent Houston manager Bo Porter looking for relief help.
Houston (Brad Peacock 1-1) at A's (A.J. Griffin 2-0), 7:05 p.m. CSNCA
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