HOUSTON -- Jeff Samardzija was determined to get back on track Monday night after a couple of bad starts, so he was thrilled to see Josh Donaldson back in the Oakland lineup. Dave Parker Jersey . Samardzija pitched eight solid innings and Donaldson drove in three runs after sitting out Sunday with a knee injury to lead the Athletics over the Houston Astros 8-2. "I told him theres no chance hes not starting the day I pitch. So Ill give him a massage on his knee if I have to, to get him in there," Samardzija said, joking. It didnt come to that, but Donaldson acknowledged after the game hes still feeling pretty banged up despite returning to the lineup. "Its not something I think about too much," he said. "Its just one of those things, 126 games now. You learn how to play with stuff." Samardzija (4-3) allowed six hits, two runs and tied a season high with 10 strikeouts to bounce back from a two-game skid in which he yielded 11 runs combined. The right-hander was 2-7 with the Chicago Cubs before getting traded in early July. "I took that last one pretty personally and I wanted to come out and have a good one and get back into my groove and how I do things," Samardzija said. Josh Reddick hit a two-run homer and Donaldson had three hits. Donaldson doubled twice for his first extra-base hits and RBIs in his last nine games. Reddicks 10th home run sailed into the seats in right field to push Oaklands lead to 3-0 in the fourth. Chris Carter hit an opposite-field, two-run homer in the eighth to pull the Astros within one, but the As added five runs in the ninth to extend the lead to 8-2. Houston manager Bo Porter was disappointed that his bullpen let a close game get away. "Getting an opportunity to come up in the ninth inning of a one-run game is completely different than coming up down by six," he said. "The whole object is to keep the game right there." Scott Feldman (7-10) allowed seven hits and three runs in seven innings. The Astros couldnt string anything together against Samardzija through the first seven innings. They didnt have more than one hit in an inning until the eighth, when Jose Altuve singled before Carters homer. Houston reliever Tony Sipp, who had allowed just 10 walks in his previous 41 innings, walked all four batters he faced in the ninth to push Oaklands lead to 4-2. Donaldsons bases-loaded double off Jose Veras sent two more home, and Derek Norris wrapped up the scoring with a two-run single. Eric Sogard doubled to start the third and scored on Donaldsons first hit -- a two-out double -- to put Oakland up 1-0. Brandon Moss singled in the fourth before Reddick homered. Carters 31 home runs rank third in the American League, and his 18 homers and 44 RBIs since July 1 lead the majors. Altuves hit gave him 179 this season, which leads the AL. The pair has carried Houstons offence since the All-Star break while the Astros have dealt with numerous injuries. TRAINERS ROOM Athletics: Manager Bob Melvin said INF Nick Punto (hamstring) is making progress and has been taking grounders. Melvin didnt give a timetable on Puntos return, but said hes "starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel with him." Astros: RHP Brad Peacock, who left his most recent start after five innings because of a sore forearm, will take his scheduled turn Wednesday. Porter said Peacock is fine and was removed mostly as a precaution. BEHIND THE PLATE Melvin said hell probably start new catcher Geovany Soto on Tuesday night and put Norris at DH. Soto was acquired from Texas for cash on Sunday, with C John Jaso on the seven-day concussion disabled list. Soto has appeared in only 10 games this season after starting the year on the disabled list following knee surgery in March before another stint on the DL because of a groin injury. UP NEXT Oakland RHP Jason Hammel is scheduled to start Tuesday after his previous turn in the rotation was skipped because of two off days last week. Hammel is 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA in seven starts since being traded from the Cubs on July 5. Houston LHP Dallas Keuchel looks for his first win since July 30. Willie Stargell Jersey . The D-Backs came into being in 1998 and appear destined to finish second in the AL West after the Tsunami that is the Los Angeles Dodgers swept over them. I thought it might be interesting to see what the D-backs have done over their 16 years compared to what the Blue Jays have done over their past 16 campaigns. Francisco Cervelli Jersey . 1. Lions WR Calvin Johnson (6 REC, 101 YDS, 1 TD, 10 targets) leads receivers with 1,299 yards and 12 touchdowns, though his 118.1 receiving yards per game ranks second behind Clevelands Josh Gordon. Gordon (10 REC, 261 YDS, 2 TD, 15 targets) is emerging as a superstar, putting up huge numbers even with Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden at quarterback. http://www.pittsburghpiratesprostore.us/Drew-Hutchison-pirates-jersey/ . 1 goaltender tonight when they conclude a four-game road trip versus the Winnipeg Jets.CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Panthers coach Ron Rivera isnt sure if Greg Hardy will play Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers and that the team hasnt considered releasing the Pro Bowl defensive end who is involved in a domestic violence case. Rivera said Monday that Hardy will continue to practice and attend team meetings, but he wont make a decision on if he plays until later this week. The Panthers plan to continue to gather information in what Rivera said is "a very fluid situation." Hardy was convicted July 15 of assault on a female and communicating threats, after the victim claimed he threw her down on a bed of guns and tossed her into the shower. He is appealing the ruling. Hardy played in Week 1 but Rivera deactivated him just hours before Sundays game against the Detroit Lions, and two days after the coach said Hardy would play. Rivera said Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was involved in the Hardy discussion and the team had some input from the league, but it was his decision to bench him. Hardy made $770,588.23 -- one-seventeenth of his yearly pay -- despite not playing. Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman and his staff are "doing their due diligence in terms of looking at what are options are" going forward, Rivera said. The coach indicated those options included whether to activate or deactivate Hardy on Sunday. He said the team has not considered releasing Hardy and his $13,1 million salary. The Panthers will have to decide by Week 6 how they want to handle Hardys situation. Under the NFL collective bargaining agreement, a team can only deactivate a player for non-injury reasons for a maximum of four games. The same limit is applies if the Panthers were to suspend Hardy for conduct detrimental to the team. Hardys agent Drew Rosenhaus declined to comment on the situation. On Monday, Hardy arrived at the stadium in his white Bentley shortly after noon wearing white shorts and a hooded white sweatshirt and sunglasses. He didnt acknowledge media questions as he strolled into the stadium. The decision to deactivate Hardy last Sunday was a difficult one, Rivera said. "If you play him and you win, then you dont have a conscience; and if you play him and you lose, hes a distraction," Rivera said. Riveras decision to bench Hardy came after the Minnesota Vikings deactivated Adrian Peterson following his iindictment for injuring a child. Josh Harrison Jersey. The Vikings released a statement Monday saying that Peterson will play Sunday against New Orleans. The Panthers are trying to be careful not to be reactionary. "That is why we have to sit down and talk about these things," Rivera said. "And we did the same thing (on Sunday). We talked about a lot of things and at the end of the day I had to make a decision that I believe was in the best interest of our football team and for Greg." Hardy was disappointed when informed he wouldnt play against the Lions. Rivera said he allowed Hardy to leave the stadium and return home after notifying him of the move. "I said, Greg are you OK with this? and he said, Coach, I understand," Rivera said. Carolinas defence didnt miss a beat without Hardy, forcing three turnovers and registering four sacks in a 24-7 victory. Hardy, who tied a franchise-record with 15 sacks last season, had four tackles and a sack in the teams regular season opener at Tampa Bay. However, Hardys status changed when the Ravens released Ray Rice and the league suspended him indefinitely last week after a video surfaced of Rice punching his then-fiance. Then later in the week, Peterson was indicted on child abuse charges, adding pressure on the Panthers to deactivate Hardy. Rivera said Sunday that "the climate had changed" in the NFL and that played into his decision to bench Hardy. When asked if the Panthers got it right the first time, Rivera said, "I dont know. What is right? You do the best you can and nobody is infallible. We have to get this issue right and were trying to do the right thing." Panthers centre and team co-captain Ryan Kalil said Monday hes glad hes not had to do Riveras job the last two weeks. "I dont envy having to make those tough decisions," Kalil said. "Those are not easy decisions to make." Kalil also said hes already tired of answering questions about Hardy, but said the best thing he advises younger teammates to do is focus on getting better. "There are countless guys I can name in this league that are just really good people," Kalil said. "My hope is that at some point we can focus on some of those guys. I know these things are the topic right now, but its disappointing that it overshadows a lot of good people." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '