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Anderson fans 10, 3 HRs propel A's over Astros 9-3

Sunday - 4/7/2013, 8:24pm  ET

Houston Astros' J.D. Martinez, right, tosses his bat after striking out as Oakland Athletics catcher John Jaso heads to the dugout in the seventh inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Houston. Oakland won 9-3 to sweep the Astros in the three game series. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) -- The losses and the strikeouts keep piling up for the Houston Astros.

Brett Anderson struck out 10 more Houston batters and the Oakland Athletics backed him with three home runs for a 9-3 win Sunday and a three-game sweep of the Astros.

Coco Crisp homered for the third straight day, Jed Lowrie again connected against his former team and Chris Young homered in his hometown. The A's sent Houston to its fifth straight loss.

The Astros, playing their first year in the American League, went 1-5 on their season-opening homestand against Texas and Oakland. They'll now start a nine-game road trip to the West Coast against division opponents.

"You never look forward to going on the road, but it might be a fresh start to get on the road a little bit," Houston's Brandon Barnes said. "It's just one of those things where we'll try to go out and have fun."

Houston's first-year manager Bo Porter brushed off questions about the difficulty of going on a long trip.

"Nobody is going to feel sorry for you," he said. "This business is major league baseball. The schedule that we have is the schedule that we're going to play."

Anderson (1-1) and the A's bullpen combined for 14 strikeouts. The Astros' 74 strikeouts through the first six games are the most in major league history since 1921, STATS said. The previous mark was held by Colorado, which fanned 65 times through the first six games of 2004.

Houston has reached double-digit strikeouts in five games. All but one starting pitcher the Astros have faced has either set or tied a career high for strikeouts against them.

"You've got to have a short-term memory," said Houston's Chris Carter, who has accounted for 11 of the team's strikeouts. "Just play day-to-day and not dwell on what happened last game."

The Astros talked this off-season about how they expected to be much better than they were in the past two seasons where they combined for 213 losses. But so far this team, with the lowest payroll in the majors, has struggled just as much as last year's squad.

But Porter, who is the youngest manager in the majors at just 40, remains optimistic.

"We're not that far off," he said. "We may have lost the game, but I think we're actually learning how to win."

Anderson tied a career high for strikeouts in only six innings. He allowed two unearned runs and five hits.

Oakland right fielder J.J. Reddick was injured when he ran into the wall chasing a foul ball in the fifth inning. He sprained his right wrist when he fell trying to catch the fly by Marwin Gonzalez. Reddick left the game and said X-rays were negative. He was listed as day to day.

Lowrie, traded from Houston to Oakland in February, homered for the second straight game. He had a two-run drive in the third and finished with three hits.

Lowrie has started the season with a six-game hitting streak, going 13 for 23 with three homers, four doubles and six RBIs in that span.

Crisp added a solo shot in the fourth, giving him home runs in three straight games for the first time since 2008. Crisp went 7 for 14 in the series, including the three homers and four doubles.

Young stretched the lead to 8-0 with a three-run homer in the fifth. He grew up in Houston and extended his hitting streak against the Astros to 11 games.

Young has had more success against Houston than any other team he's faced. He has four homers, five doubles and 16 RBIs during his current streak against the Astros, dating to Aug. 8, 2011.

Lucas Harrell (0-2) yielded seven hits and eight runs in 4 1-3 innings. It ended a streak of 31 straight starts in which he pitched five innings or more.

"The big key was not locating the ball," Harrell said. "When you're getting up in the zone and you're a sinker-ball guy, it's going to be a long day."

NOTES: The Astros begin a series at Seattle on Monday when RHP Philip Humber opposes LHP Joe Saunders. ... The A's are off Monday before opening a series against the Angels on Tuesday.


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