Josh Donaldson isn't known as a speed and power guy. Power yes. Speed? Just enough to get by.

For the first time since Aug. 6 the A's are alone in first place in the American League West because Donaldson showed off both his strength and hustle Friday night. He helped manufacture a tie-breaking run with his fourth steal and iced a 7-5 victory with his 21st homer.

Coupled with Texas' 6-5 loss in Anaheim the A's moved a half-game atop the division.

Donaldson's homer was no surprise - only Brandon Moss has more on the team - but his stolen base which proved just as much of a game-changer caught the Astros off guard in the fourth inning. Especially because he stole third.

"It was just as big (as the home run) if not bigger" manager Bob Melvin said. "If you look at the outcome certainly the home run was paramount. But at the time the way the game was the stolen base was huge."

When Jed Lowrie singled home Coco Crisp to make the score 4-4 Donaldson advanced to second. The Astros summoned Philip Humber and Donaldson figured it was the right time no matter how risky to swipe third.

So he did - after meeting with third-base coach Mike Gallego during the pitching change - and he scored shortly thereafter on Yoenis Céspedes' grounder to third baseman Matt Dominguez. That made it 5-4.