HOUSTON -- Chris Young picked a perfect time Friday night to end the A's record-tying run of 15 consecutive solo home runs.
But Young's three-run ninth-inning homer that gave Oakland a 6-5 victory over Houston -- the A's seventh win against the Astros without a loss in 2013 -- shouldn't have been all that surprising.
Houston is Young's hometown, he still lives here in the offseason, and he fairly well owns Minute Maid Park. His three hits, including the big one off Astros reliever Jose Veras with one out in the ninth, upped his career average at the park to .418 with seven home runs, and he has a 16-game hitting streak here to boot.
"I love being home," said Young. "We had a good off-day, and I was able to spend some time with my family and get some good home cooking. Mom's cooking definitely had something to do with it, for sure."
And what did his mother, Carolyn, serve?
"Good ol' Texas southern barbecue," Young said. "It always does the trick for me."
Young came into the game hitting just .168, so playing in front of the 40-50 family members and friends in the stands was definitely a boost to his spirits. He maintained he wasn't thinking home run after John Jaso and Coco Crisp had walked to set up his big blast on a 1-1 pitch.
"I've faced Veras quite a few times, and he normally has my number," Young said. "He's broken a lot of my bats and struck me out quite a few times. So I was just looking for something up in the zone, and he threw me a breaking ball up."
The A's appeared headed to their first loss against the American League West's last-place team. The A's jumped to a 2-0 lead and settled into cruise control behind a seemingly sharp Tommy Milone, but everything appeared to unravel in a five-run Astros explosion with two outs in the fifth inning.
Houston reeled off five straight hits, including a solo homer by Matt Dominguez and a three-run bomb by J.D. Martinez.
"I made some good pitches and some bad ones," said Milone, who wound up pitching seven innings. "It's unfortunate that it all happened with two outs. I felt good, even through that fifth inning, so the big thing was keep them at that."
Seth Smith got the A's a run closer with a pinch-hit solo homer off reliever Paul Clemens in the sixth. It was the A's 15th consecutive solo homer, tying a franchise record set in 1947 by the Philadelphia A's.
"I didn't even know that," said manager Bob Melvin. "I'm glad I didn't know that."
Grant Balfour came on in the bottom of the ninth for his 10th save. Pat Neshek (1-0), who had pitched a scoreless eighth inning, got the victory. But the real drama was what the A's had to do with their infield with first baseman Nate Freiman and shortstop Adam Rosales out of the game, replaced by pinch hitters.
Jaso went to first base, Brandon Moss went to third, and Josh Donaldson played shortstop, with only second base starter Eric Sogard at his normal position. It was only Jaso's second major league game playing first, Moss hadn't played third since his first year in pro ball, and Donaldson had never played short.
"The first ball got hit to me, and I was hoping they'd keep coming," said Sogard.
The final grounder actually went to Donaldson with two on, and he made a nifty underhand flip to Sogard for a force to end the game.
"Major league shortstop," said Donaldson, puffing his chest and grinning afterward.
Moss was even more animated about his big-league third base debut.
"If Adrian Beltre and Chipper Jones had a kid, that'd be me," he said.
"It felt great, I was happy with the results," Reddick said. "The biggest thing for me was being able to pull the ball. That's one thing I really wanted to test out."
Reddick will take a full BP on Saturday, rest Sunday, then begin a minor league assignment if there are no setbacks. He will play at Class A Stockton on Monday and Triple-A Sacramento from Tuesday until he's ready. Reddick hopes to return to the A's next Friday, when Oakland opens a home series against the Chicago White Sox.
Lowrie hopes to play this weekend.
A's (A.J. Griffin 4-3) at Houston (Lucas Harrell 3-5), 4:15 p.m. FOX