HOUSTON -- The A's made a lot of hard contact Wednesday at Minute Maid Field, particularly Coco Crisp, who delivered a two-run homer in the seventh inning that proved to be the difference in a 4-3 win over the Houston Astros.
For catcher John Jaso, the hard hitting cut both ways. He drove in the A's first run with a first-inning, opposite-field homer. But for the second straight day, he had to come out early because he was struck by a hard foul ball that left him with a headache and some dizziness.
For that reason, he had to be checked out for a concussion for the second time in less than 24 hours. It's not clear if he'll be ready to play when the A's start a four-game series in Oakland Thursday night against the Angels, although he probably wouldn't be starting anyway with left-hander C.J. Wilson scheduled to pitch for Anaheim.
Jaso was talking about how he dislikes coming out of games when pitcher Jarrod Parker wandered by and suggested he was on a starting pitcher's schedule -- seven innings and out of the game.
Jaso smiled and took the ribbing in the manner intended.
"I hate coming out like that," he said, "but I was getting pretty dizzy. (Tuesday) when Parker was pitching, I had to call time out after I was hit because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to see the pitch. I don't want to let pride get in the way, and I don't want to hurt the team."
Jaso came out of Wednesday's game after a discussion with manager Bob Melvin, a former catcher who knows what it feels like to get hit by a batted ball. Jaso was cleared to make the flight home with the club, although he was still feeling a little dizzy and had a bit of a lingering headache as the A's were packing up and heading out.
"We're not going to mess around with anything like that," Melvin said of the possibility of a concussion. "He told me he had a bit of a headache, and we got him out of there."
Jaso was in the game long enough to see Crisp's decisive home run in a three-run seventh that erased a 3-1 Astros lead. Eric Sogard knocked tiring starter Bud Norris out of the game with a one-out RBI double that trimmed the deficit to one run, and Houston manager Bo Porter asked former A's reliever Travis Blackley to face his old teammate.
Crisp was ready, jumping on an 0-1 pitch and hitting it out to left for his 10th homer.
"It's nice to see the late power these last few games," Crisp said. "That not really part of our game. We don't rely on home runs to win. We go up and battle. We're always out there trying to manufacture runs."
Josh Reddick hit a game-winning two-run homer in the eighth on Monday, and Brandon Moss belted a go-ahead homer in the eighth on Tuesday, though closer Grant Balfour wasn't able to hold it, suffering his first blown save in almost a year and a half.
The Astros were more than willing to play the home run game, too. All three runs allowed by starter A.J. Griffin (9-7) were on home runs, a solo blast by Jose Altuve in the fourth inning that tied the game and a two-run shot by Carlos Corporan in the sixth that landed in the bleachers.
He's allowed 23 homers, putting him among the league leaders in that unwanted category.
"I thought maybe the pitch was going to bounce," Griffin said. "Jaso's getting ready to block the ball in the dirt. And then he (Corporan) goes down and hits it out. I guess the home runs are pretty me. But I'm getting sick of giving them up."
Yes, but not of having them hit on his behalf.
"That was a huge performance by Coco," Griffin said. "After that, the pitching just had to bear down and not mess it up."
L.A. Angels (C.J. Wilson 10-6) at A's (Dan Straily 6-3), 7:05 p.m. CSNCA