Sonny Gray didn’t pitch great, but he didn’t have to.
That’s because the A’s provided him with plenty of run support in an 11-3 rout of the Astros on Friday night.
Gray, in fact, had to warm up in the bullpen again to keep his arm loose while the A’s were busy scoring run after run in the first inning, an inning that featured three hits, two homers, five walks, seven runs and a pitching change. Astros starter Jarred Cosart recorded just one out and gave up seven runs before being mercifully yanked and given a stern talking to by manager Bo Porter.
It definitely wasn’t a pretty inning for Cosart, who started the game by walking the bases loaded, then giving up a two-run single to Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes had himself a good night, going 3-for-4, including a home run in the second inning. Immediately after the Cespedes single, the red hot Alberto Callaspo launched a three-run homer to right. A John Jaso walked followed, then another blast to right cleared the wall, this time off Josh Reddick.
The Astros bullpen would eventually come in and slow things down, allowing “only” three more runs to score – two in the fifth on a Coco Crisp homer, and one in the seventh on a bases loaded walk to Josh Donaldson.
Strangely enough, both teams finished with 10 hits, but it was the barrage of homers and the first inning rally by the A’s that blew up the score. As mentioned, Gray did not have a dominant outing, allowing nine hits in sixth innings while walking two, but he only gave up three runs, all of them in the fifth.
The A’s beat up on the Astros last year in Houston’s inaugural season in the AL West, and if tonight was any indication, they probably expect to do no less this year.