Ben Margot Associated Press A's rookie Nate Freiman connects for his first career homer, a three-run drive in the first inning.

A's overpower Astros

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2013 - 7:04 am

OAKLAND – How strong is Nate Freiman?

Strong enough that the rookie first baseman parted the howling winds in left field Monday night for a three-run, first-inning homer that highlighted the A's 11-2 victory over the Houston Astros.

Astros starter Erik Bedard walked four of the first six men he faced and was already trailing 3-0 after a run-scoring wild pitch and Brandon Moss' two-run single.

Freiman, picked up from the Astros as a Rule 5 player during the last week of spring training, fell behind 1-2, then crushed a Bedard pitch into the permanent seats in left-center for his first home run.

The drive capped a six-run inning, and Tommy Milone took it from there, allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Milone (3-0) left after his 100th pitch, on which Jose Altuve singled in Houston's second run. Sean Doolittle took over and struck out Justin Maxwell to keep Oakland's lead at 6-2.

Milone became the first A's starter since Dave Stewart in 1990 to win his first three starts. Stewart began the 1990 season 6-0. Milone also moved into a tie for the American League lead in wins.

The A's padded their lead in the seventh with three runs on Jed Lowrie's two-run single and Moss' RBI double. Lowrie ended the scoring with a two-run single in the eighth.

Coco Crisp was back in the A's lineup in center field after missing two games with a groin injury. But Josh Reddick, who's 4 for 37 this season, got the night off.

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