HOUSTON -- The Oakland Athletics fashioned an improbable rally against Houston closer Jose Veras and swiped a 6-5 win on Friday night at Minute Maid Park, their seventh win in seven tries against Houston.
Athletics right fielder and Houston native Chris Young belted a three-run home run to left field with one out in the top of the ninth inning off Veras, who had not allowed a hit over his last seven appearances. Veras (0-3) had earned all eight of his saves in his previous 14 appearances while posting a 1.26 ERA.
Young extended his hitting streak at Minute Maid Park to 15 games with a first-inning single and finished 3-for-5 to raise his average to .418 in Houston.
The Athletics (26-23) improved to 12-1 all-time against the Astros (14-34). Grant Balfour earned his 10th save for the Athletics.
Astros left-hander Erik Bedard, who got just one out in an 11-2 loss to the Athletics on April 15, was in first-inning peril against Oakland again.
The first four Athletics he faced reached base, with left fielder Yoenis Cespedes delivering an RBI single to score Coco Crisp. Bedard recovered to retire three of the next four batters he faced, his modest 2-0 deficit foreshadowing the elusiveness to come.
Bedard scuffled with his control and labored throughout his five-inning stint, throwing 99 pitches with just 54 of those strikes.
But he was aided by two outfield assists. Center fielder Brandon Barnes erased Josh Donaldson at third base for an inning-ending double play in the third before left fielder Robbie Grossman gunned down Eric Sogard as he tried to stretch a single into a double in the fourth.
Athletics left-hander Tommy Milone appeared in control before a nine-pitch sequence in the fifth turned the game on its ear.
Having recorded two strikeouts to open the inning, Milone surrendered a home run to Matt Dominguez, consecutive singles to Ronny Cedeno, Grossman and Jose Altuve, and a three-run homer to J.D. Martinez that scored Grossman and Altuve and pushed the Astros in front, 5-2.
Cedeno scored when Altuve snapped an 0-for-18 drought.
NOTES: Oakland OF Josh Reddick took two dozen swings during batting practice on Friday and inched closer to a return from the 15-day disabled list. He suffered a right wrist strain during the Athletics' first trip to Houston in April. Reddick will complete a full batting practice session before going on a rehab assignment, perhaps as early as next week. ... Astros 1B prospect Jonathan Singleton will join Class A Quad Cities on Monday, returning from a 50-game suspension for a second positive drug test. MLB.com this preseason rated Singleton as the 25th-best prospect in the minors.