Gary DiSarcina is going to be in the lineup almost every day no matter what he's hitting, so Manager Buck Rodgers considers the shortstop's early-season offense a bonus.
"Any time you get offense from a defensive player, it's a huge plus," Rodgers said. "It's like having a second designated hitter."
DiSarcina had a .306 batting average before Friday night's game and hit his first home run since June 11, 1993 in the third inning.
"It's always great to put together a month like that," DiSarcina said, "especially when you stay consistent and avoid the fluctuation between highs and lows."
Rodgers said much of DiSarcina's success can be traced to his positive attitude as the No. 9 hitter in the lineup.
"I think you have to take pride in your role, whatever it is," DiSarcina said. "Some guys may take hitting ninth as a (slight), but I take it as a challenge. You can't just throw your bat up there and hope to get a hit. You lead off innings, you come up with men on base, it's a challenge."
Oakland first baseman Mark McGwire, who has been in Houston the last two days undergoing examinations on his sore left foot, was found to have a stress fracture in his heel. He was put on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 30. "We were hoping against hope that it was just scarred tissue in there," Manager Tony La Russa said, "but the good news is that, according to the timetable I heard, it's only going to be a month." . . . Jim Edmonds, who sat out five games after being hit in the neck with an errant throw while running to first base April 26, got his second consecutive start at first base. He struck out three times Thursday and twice more in the first two innings Friday. "My timing's just a little off," Edmonds said. "I guess that's how it is when you take a week off."