HOUSTON — Brandon Moss was having a frustrating night before the ninth inning.
Mired in an 0-for-14 rut, Moss turned things around on one pitch.
He hit a go-ahead single during a six-run rally in the ninth inning that sent the Oakland Athletics to a 7-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
Josh Reddick homered for the AL West-leading A’s and Yoenis Cespedes had three hits, including two doubles.
“It had not been a very good day until that last at-bat,” Moss said. “I was just trying to battle, stay on the ball a little bit. Get on base any way I could. If I got a good pitch to hit, hit it hard.”
Oakland trailed 4-1 in the ninth before pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo had a two-run single off closer Chad Qualls (1-2).
After Houston couldn’t turn a potential game-ending double play on John Jaso’s grounder, Jed Lowrie walked and Cespedes tied it with a single.
Moss ended his slump with the RBI single off Tony Sipp and then Josh Donaldson hit a two-run double off Jose Veras.
“We always have confidence in him,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of Moss. “He’s played himself into a role here this year where he’s getting at-bats against left-handers, too, and doing some damage, and no more than that one right there.”
Evan Scribner (1-0) got the win and Sean Doolittle pitched the ninth for his 16th save.
“They just found some holes when they needed to and hit the ball on the screws when they needed to,” Qualls said. “I just didn’t get it done.”
Marwin Gonzalez homered off the left-field foul pole in the first inning to give the Astros a 1-0 lead. Kike Hernandez had an RBI triple as part of a two-run fifth and an RBI double in the seventh to give the Astros the 4-1 lead.
“Any time you lose games in the eighth or ninth inning, those are tough games to lose,” Houston manager Bo Porter said. “We were in position to win the ballgame and just were not able to close it out.”
Astros starter Scott Feldman allowed one run and five hits in seven innings. He rebounded after one of his worst outings of the season Thursday at Oakland in which he gave up six runs in 5 1/3 innings.
A’s starter Jeff Samardzija gave up four runs and six hits with seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
“I’m not happy with how I pitched, but to keep it close and give these guys a chance, sometimes that’s all I need,” Samardzija said.