HOUSTON At a time when they should have been enjoying the fruits of a 9-3 win over the Astros and a three-game sweep in Minute Maid Park, the A's were more than a little on edge Sunday afternoon.
First, they had to send right fielder Josh Reddick out for X-rays after he smashed his right hand into the right-field wall in foul territory while trying to make a diving catch. A little later, starter Brett Anderson made the same trip to get his left thumb and wrist X-rayed.
The word on Reddick came back first, and it was good news. The right fielder "was scared it could be really serious," but his wrist isn't broken. And while he'll probably have to miss a little time while the sprain heals, for the moment he's not facing a lengthy spell on the disabled list.
"I've always been taught to dive for balls like that," Reddick said, explaining why he didn't back off even with the A's holding an 8-0 lead in the fifth inning. "But I was scared, because I started to lose feeling in the hand."
Reddick said he put out his hand to brace for impact, and the wall, which is covered by wire. The result wasn't pretty, and trainer Nick Paparesta and manager Bob Melvin went sprinting from the A's dugout to the right-field wall.
"I'm sorry to have made them run so far so fast," Reddick said. "Bob gets out there quick."
They had some suspenseful minutes before the X-ray taken at a nearby hospital could be read by the A's and any thought of a broken wrist could be put out of his mind.
Anderson was in some ways luckier, and in some ways less lucky. He was hit in the second inning by a Carlos Corporan hard chopper up the middle that went for a hit. That one caught him on the thumb. After being checked out and saying he was good to go, Anderson lasted until the sixth inning.
That's when he was hit a second time, this time by J.D. Martinez. And while Anderson finished the inning allowing two unearned runs, he was done for the day having matched his personal best with 10 strikeouts.
"I reached for the first one, then was trying to pull my hand back out of the way," Anderson said. "It caught me on the thumb. The second one I was trying to get out of the way but didn't."
While he was explaining what had happened, Anderson went from sitting to standing, along the way ramming the back of his head into an open cupboard door above his locker.
And it wasn't until the A's were heading to the airport for the flight from Houston to Southern California that Anderson got word that his X-rays, too, were negative.
"Other than getting hit (on the hand) twice and on the head," Anderson said, "it was a pretty good day."
That it was. Jed Lowrie had three hits, including his third homer, a two-run shot in the third. Coco Crisp had two hits, a double and a homer. Chris Young hit a three-run homer. And the A's completed stretched their winning streak to five games.
It was a great series for Lowrie, who at this time a year ago was the Astros starting shortstop. He finished the series with seven hits, including back-to-back three-hit games, and homered twice.
Notes Yoenis Cespedes was supposed to get the day off, but he wound up playing the second half of the game after Reddick was injured.
Infielders Hiro Nakajima and Adam Rosales continue to do rehab work in the Bay Area and are likely to be there when the A's return home Friday after three games in Anaheim.