OAKLAND, Calif. -- Rookie first baseman Nate Freiman hit his first major-league home run, and left-hander Tommy Milone allowed just two runs over 6.2 innings, leading the Oakland A's to an 11-2 victory Monday night over the Houston Astros.
The A's scored six times in the first inning off Astros left-hander Erik Bedard, who lasted just one-third of an inning and had the shortest of his 191 major-league starts.
Bedard gave up just two hits, but one was Freiman's three-run blast and the other was Brandon Moss' two-run single. Bedard walked six and threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded that brought home the A's first run. He threw 35 pitches, only 18 for strikes, before being relieved by Paul Clemens.
Freiman homered against an Astros team that had selected him in the Rule 5 draft from San Diego but later waived him in March. The A's claimed him off waivers on March 23, less than two months after trading first baseman Chris Carter to Houston as part of a five-player deal.
Milone, coming off a 13-10 rookie season, improved to 3-0, winning his third straight start this year and fifth straight dating to last year. He allowed eight hits, struck out six and walked none.
A's shortstop Jed Lowrie drove in four runs, going 2-for-4 and raising his average to .385. Moss went 2-for-4 and drove in three.
The A's snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 4-0 this year against the Astros, who lost their third straight game.
Bedard had gone 4-0 with a 0.55 ERA in his five previous starts against the A's before Monday. He had a 0.00 ERA this season, allowing just two hits over 7.1 innings with one start and his first career save.
Then Bedard took the mound Monday, and his nightmare began.
Bedard walked Coco Crisp, Derek Norris and Chris Young to load the bases. After striking out Lowrie, Bedard uncorked a 2-1 wild pitch to Josh Donaldson, as Crisp raced home to give the A's a 1-0 lead. Then Donaldson walked, reloading the bases.
Moss fell behind 0-2, fouled a pitch back, then lined a two-run single to right, bringing Norris and Young home.
Freiman, making his fourth start of the season, launched a 1-2 pitch into the left-field seats for a three-run homer, putting the A's ahead 6-0 and ending Bedard's night.
Right-hander Paul Clemens relieved Bedard with one out in the first.
The Astros cut the A's lead to 6-1 in the top of the fourth when Jason Castro singled, moved to second on J.D. Martinez's single and scored on Carlos Pena's two-out single off Milone.
Houston cut Oakland's lead to 6-2 in the seventh when Jose Altuve hit a two-out single, scoring Ronny Cedeno. With runners on first and second, left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle took over for Milone and struck out Justin Maxwell, ending the rally.
The A's scored three more runs in the bottom of the seventh. After Derek Norris walked and Young doubled off reliever Xavier Cedeno, Lowrie hit a two-run single to center, making it 9-2. Moss doubled Lowrie home.
The A's added two more runs in the eighth when Crisp walked, Norris doubled and Lowrie hit a two-run single to center.
NOTES: Major League Baseball on Monday celebrated the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier, but Astros manager Bo Porter, an African American, said every day is Jackie Robinson Day to him. "I think it's always meaningful when this day comes around, but it's pretty much something that I honor every day," said Porter, a former A's outfielder. ... Freiman, who grew up near Boston, said news of the deadly bomb blasts Monday near the finish line at Boston Marathon was "confusing and scary. It's really, really hard to take in. I know everyone is just horrified by what's going on." ... A's outfielder Coco Crisp returned to the starting lineup Monday night against Houston after missing two games with a strained left groin he suffered Friday night against Detroit. ... A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (strained muscle, left hand) did some throwing and running Monday but still has a soft cast on his left hand to keep it immobilized and promote healing, A's manager Bob Melvin said. He was injured Friday night against Detroit and was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. "I know he certainly isn't in as much pain as he was the day after," Melvin said. ... Infielder Adam Rosales (strained left rib cage muscle) increased his workload Monday and could go on a minor league rehab assignment as early as Thursday, barring any setbacks, Melvin said. ... Astros outfielder Fernando Martinez (strained left oblique) started in right field Monday night for the Triple-A Oklahoma City Red Hawks against Memphis in the second game of his rehab assignment. Martinez, who has been on the disabled list since March 27, went 0-for-3 with on RBI and two strikeouts as the DH on Sunday against Memphis and 0-for-3 with an RBI on Monday. "We'll monitor that closely, and Lord willing, he won't have any setbacks and he'll be ready to join us at some point soon," Porter said.