HOU@LAA: Carter's two-run shot opens the scoring

OAKLAND -- Chris Carter had trouble finding his way to the visitor's clubhouse Monday. Even though he'd spent several years playing for the Oakland Athletics, he'd never been on the first-base side of the stadium.

"When I walked in I had no clue," Carter said. "I never went past the weight room."

The weight room is situated about halfway between the two clubhouses on the lower level.

It's about the only thing Carter has had trouble with this season. He entered Monday's game against the A's with a .277 batting average, four home runs and seven RBIs.

He just had a career-best six-game hitting streak end Sunday, but is still hitting .440 on the current road trip.

"It's a good feeling coming to the park every day knowing I will be in the lineup," said Carter, who bats cleanup behind catcher Jason Castro.

The A's tried Carter in the outfield and at first base before trading him, along with Tuesday's starter Brad Peacock, to the Astros for infielder Jed Lowrie.

"Chris has been tremendous," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "He adds thump to the middle of the lineup."

Carter has taken notice that the A's are getting a lot more fan support after winning the AL West Division title last year.

"I'm seeing a lot more signs. Coming over from San Francisco, I saw a sign with Coco on it," he said, referring to A's center fielder Coco Crisp.

Clemens injures finger on comebacker

Must C Clips: Clemens injures finger, gets next out

OAKLAND -- Paul Clemens dislocated the little finger on his right hand on a ground ball up the middle on Monday night but he pitched through it and gave the Houston Astros a heroic effort.

"It's nothing major," the right-hander said. "Anything that hits it awkwardly pops it right out. I could have popped it back in myself, but I wanted to make sure the trainer knew about it."

Clemens, who lasted 5 1/3 scoreless innings, came out of the game after his finger was checked for a third time.

"It's something I've had since high school," Clemens said. "It's happened a thousand times."

Clemens allowed one hit, walked two and struck out three after taking over for starter Erik Bedard with one out in the first inning.

"Erik Bedard and the offense deserved to win that game my last time out," Clemens said. "I was given a 16-run lead in my Major League debut. I owe them the world. To put me in where I could relax and just throw pitches made me want to come out tonight and pick these guys up."

He retired 13 of the 16 batters he faced, saving the Astros' bullpen from possibly being overworked.

He made his Major League debut in his last appearance last Tuesday, earning a win in a game started by Bedard in Seattle.

Pena relieved sister OK after Boston tragedy

OAKLAND -- Carlos Pena had a few anxious moments to deal with before Monday's game with the Oakland Athletics.

His sister was in Boston for the marathon and it took the Pena family a while to connect with her after hearing of explosions near the finish line.

"We were worried about her because we could not get in touch with her," Pena said. "I was a little anxious. We finally connected and she's OK. It's very unfortunate."

Pena attended Northeastern and spent his teenage years at Haverhill High School in Massachusetts. Pena's family, originally from the Dominican Republic, moved to the U.S. when he was 12.

Porter tries to always honor Robinson's memory

A look back at how Jackie changed baseball

OAKLAND -- Bo knows Jackie Robinson.

Houston manager Bo Porter, who played parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues, including one with Oakland, knows he owes a lot to Jackie Robinson, who is being honored at all Major League ballparks on Monday and Tuesday.

In 1997, under the direction of Commissioner Bud Selig, Robinson's No. 42 was retired across all of Major League Baseball in an unprecedented tribute. As part of Monday's festivities, each player and coach on both sides of the field wore Robinson's number in his honor.

"It's always meaningful when this day comes around," Porter said. "For me, though, it's every day. I was able to play, coach and manage baseball because of him. He means a lot to this country and for me, I honor him every day."

Porter was part of the A's 2000 AL West Division team that eventually lost to the New York Yankees in five games in the ALDS.

Worth noting

• Fernando Martinez (strained left oblique) began his rehab assignment Sunday and went 0-for-3 with an RBI as Oklahoma City's designated hitter. He was in right field Monday night.

• In a Minor League trade, the Astros obtained left-hander Eric Berger from the Cleveland Indians for catcher Chris Wallace. Berger was assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

• Oakland becomes the first team the Astros have seen twice as an American League team. It will happen again when Seattle visits Houston for a series beginning next Monday.

• Infielder Matt Dominguez has handled more total chances at third base (43) than any other Major League player. He has yet to make an error.

• The Astros need two more home runs this month to match their total of 14 from April of 2012.

• Tuesday's starter, Brad Peacock, played with the Sacramento RiverCats, an Oakland affiliate, last year and was third in the Pacific Coast League with 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings.