HOUSTON -- Brandon Moss wanted to talk about baseball history in the wake of the Oakland Athletics' 12-5 win over Houston on Friday night.
He was hit twice by pitches in the seven-run ninth inning that put the game away.
"You want to talk about my record?" he asked. "There can't be anybody who ever got hit three times in an inning."
His teammates wanted to talk about his serving as a green-and-gold target, too. But not in quite the same terms.
Moss was hit by a pitch to start the ninth inning, then plunked again after Josh Donaldson's two-run homer brought home the sixth and seventh runs of the inning. Add that to the Thursday when the Astros quite pointedly hit Jed Lowrie, and there clearly was some bad blood brewing.
"You hate to see anything like that," Donaldson said. "I don't know what they're thinking over there. I certainly didn't expect it."
Daric Barton, whose tie-breaking single with the bases loaded wound up clearing the bases with a little help from the shoddy Houston defense, was on the same page.
"It made me mad; it was pretty crappy," he said. "When it happens there's nothing I can do about it, but we're not into having a beanball war. This wasn't the first time it had happened. It obviously wasn't unintentional."
Starting pitcher Jesse Chavez, who had been out of the four-hour, six-minute game for about two hours before the ninth-inning rally, said he came down to the dugout in the ninth to support his teammates after he'd had a rough night. And he wasn't thrilled at the way Moss was treated.
"You never expect that," Chavez said. "In a way, you take it very personally. You can pitch inside, but you can't hit a guy like that, especially after the home run."
It came as no major surprise that with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Oakland reliever Fernando Abad hit Astros catcher Jason Castro, at which point home plate umpire Jordan Baker warned both benches the nonsense had to stop. Astros manager Bo Porter rushed on the field, insisting Abad should be ejected.
In the end, it was Porter who was ejected.
After Astros reliever Paul Clemens was ejected Thursday for hitting Lowrie, Porter decried the decision.
"I think the game of baseball takes care of itself," Porter said. "It's part of the game."
Moss was the one player in an A's uniform who didn't seem to think the Astros were throwing at him, saying hitting him to start an inning of a tie game in the ninth made no sense, and hitting him with an 0-2 pitch, even after the Donaldson homer, was similarly pointless.
But he reads newspapers.
"The game of baseball takes care of itself," Moss said. "That's what happened tonight."
-- Manager Bob Melvin had the ninth inning set up for Jim Johnson to close it out. He'd already used Dan Otero, Sean Doolittle and Luke Gregerson for one scoreless inning each and if the A's had only scored three runs or less Johnson would have had a shot at a save. As it was, he didn't even pitch after Oakland scored seven.
-- Donaldson has seven homers this season in 23 games, three in the last two games against the Astros. He didn't hit his seventh homer last year until his 49th game.
-- The Athletics-Astros TV broadcast will start on CSNCA at 4:10 pm. PDT on Saturday. If the game goes past 7 p.m., it will be moved to CSN Plus with the Sharks playoff game taking over CSNCA then.
-- Chavez jokingly said of his performance Friday, "Was that pitching? A little of it was." The A's didn't play particularly well behind him, third baseman Donaldson's throwing error allowing two runs to score.
-- Yoenis Cespedes missed Friday's start, won't start Saturday and is day-to-day after that. The A's don't believe the left fielder's left hamstring strain is much of a long-term problem, particularly after Cespedes came through batting practice feeling all right. Melvin said Cespedes would not be headed to the disabled list, and Cespedes said his leg was feeling "a little better."
-- Barton said he never remember clearing the bases with a single the way he did in the ninth. But when right fielder George Springer mishandled the ball in right field, Craig Gentry never stopped running. "I expect it from him," Barton said. "Gentry is lightning fast."--(c)
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