HOUSTON — Jeff Samardzija pitched eight solid innings and Josh Donaldson drove in three runs to lead the Oakland Athletics over the Houston Astros 8-2 Monday night.
Samardzija (4-3) allowed six hits, two runs and tied a season high with 10 strikeouts to bounce back from a two-game skid in which he yielded 11 runs combined. The right-hander was 2-7 with the Chicago Cubs before an early July trade.
Josh Reddick hit a two-run homer and Donaldson had three hits after sitting out Sunday with a knee injury. Donaldson doubled twice for his first extra-base hits and RBIs in his last nine games.
Reddick’s 10th home run sailed into the seats in right field to push Oakland’s lead to 3-0 in the fourth.
Chris Carter hit an opposite-field, two-run homer in the eighth to pull the Astros within one, but the A’s added five runs in the ninth to extend the lead to 8-2.
Scott Feldman (7-10) allowed seven hits and three runs in seven innings.
The Astros couldn’t string anything together against Samardzija through the first seven innings. They didn’t have more than one hit in an inning until the eighth.
Athletics: Manager Bob Melvin said INF Nick Punto (hamstring) is making progress and has been taking grounders. Melvin didn’t give a timetable on Punto’s return, but said he’s “starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel with him.”
Melvin said he’ll probably start new catcher Geovany Soto on Tuesday night.
and put Norris at designated hitter. Soto was acquired from Texas for cash.
Oakland RHP Jason Hammel is scheduled to start Tuesday after his previous turn in the rotation was skipped because of two off days last week. Hammel is 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA in seven starts since being traded from the Cubs on July 5.
Houston LHP Dallas Keuchel looks for his first win since July 30.