Oakland Athletics' Danny Valencia, left, is embraced by teammate Josh Reddick after making a baseball game-winning hit against the Houston Astros in the ninth inning Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. The A's won 5-4. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot
August 09, 2015

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) His new teammates can only shake their heads. Danny Valencia, acquired off waivers a week ago, continues to impress.

Valencia homered in the fourth inning and singled in the winning run in the bottom of a wild ninth to lift the Oakland Athletics past the Houston Astros 5-4 on Sunday.

''We got a gift-wrapped present from Toronto,'' A's starter Chris Bassitt said. ''How he got through (waivers) is shocking to all of us, from the players to the coaches.''

Josh Reddick had two hits and drove in two runs, including the tying run in the ninth, for the A's, who won their third straight and sixth of nine overall.

''It shows you what kind of player the Blue Jays gave up,'' Reddick said. ''He's carried us the better half of this week.''

Valencia has driven in five runs in his four games with the A's and is batting .438 (7 for 16). He drove in both runs in the A's 2-1 win over the Astros on Saturday. He has a hit in all 11 games in which he's had an at-bat against the Astros. This was his fifth career walkoff RBI.

''It's huge to take three of four from them,'' Valencia said. ''We're a pretty good team here.''

Valencia and the A's open a three-game series in Toronto on Tuesday.

''You want to go there swinging the bat,'' Valencia said of the Blue Jays, who have won eight straight. ''They're probably the hottest team in baseball right now.''

Colby Rasmus hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to give the Astros a 4-3 lead and set off a celebration in the dugout.

''It didn't turn out to be a big hit. That's part of the game. They played us tough,'' Rasmus said. ''We're not doing anything different. Things just aren't going our way.''

The Athletics turned the cheering around with the runs driven in by Reddick and Valencia and they took their teammate-pounding celebration on much of the infield.

The Astros have lost six of their last seven games.

''Every loss is bad, especially with all these close games,'' Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. ''We've had a rough week.''

Edward Mujica of the Athletics did not record an out in the ninth inning, giving up singles to Carlos Gomez and Jed Lowrie ahead of Rasmus' blast into the bleachers in right field. Fernando Abad (1-2) relieved and got the three outs for the win.

Luke Gregerson (5-2) took the loss with his fifth blown save in 27 chances.

Valencia put the A's ahead in the fourth with his ninth home run, second with the A's.

Jose Altuve, who has a 20-game hitting streak in Oakland, scored from first on Carlos Correa's double in the sixth to tie the score.

Bassitt gave up a run and three hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out a career-high 10 and walked two. He has 23 strikeouts in his last 20 2-3 innings after recording 21 over his first 33 2-3 innings.

Mike Fiers made his starting debut for the Astros and his second appearance overall. He gave up one run and five hits, walking one and striking out four in 6 2-3 innings.

TRAINER'S ROOM:

Astros: DH Chris Carter played in consecutive games because manager A.J. Hinch liked the way he hit the ball Saturday. ... LHP Oliver Perez was recalled following Saturday's game. RHP Asher Wojciechowski was sent to Triple-A Fresno.

Athletics: OF Coco Crisp returned to the starting lineup a day after leaving the game early due to a reaction to medication. ... LHP Sean Doolittle threw a bullpen session and will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday.

A HEALTHY OPTION

The Athletics reinstated RHP Taylor Thompson (strained right shoulder) from the 60-day DL and optioned him to Triple-A Nashville during the game. He began a rehab assignment with Single-A Stockton on July 20 and was 0-2 with a 14.54 ERA in four relief appearances with the Ports. Thompson was transferred to Nashville on Aug. 1 and allowed three unearned runs in 3 1-3 innings in three games. He was 1-2 with a 8.22 ERA in seven appearances overall.

UP NEXT:

Astros: LHP Scott Kazmir (6-6, 2.08), whom the A's traded to Houston last month, makes the start Tuesday in the series opener against LHP Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants. The Astros are 10-2 in interleague play, the best record in the majors.

Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman (6-7, 3.90) will start Tuesday's game at Toronto. He's 0-3 with a 6.20 ERA over his last five starts.

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