The game was supposed to be a battle between two of the American League's promising young pitchers: Sonny Gray and Jarred Cosart. Instead, the A's knocked Cosart out of the game in the first and pounded the Astros 11-3 in front of an announced crowd of 18, 234 at the Coliseum.

The A's offense erupted for seven runs in the first, highlighted by a three-run homer from Alberto Callaspo and a two-run shot from Josh Reddick. Yoenis Cespedes, meanwhile, banged a two-run single in the first and clubbed a towering solo homer to left in the 2nd. He was 3-for-4.

Although spotted an early 8-0 lead, Gray (3-0), who entered the contest with a career 1.71 ERA at the Coliseum, labored at times and didn't have his best stuff. He scattered nine hits over six innings and had base runners on in every inning. But he managed to get outs when needed.

Tonight's game also marked the return of Coco Crisp to the lineup. He immediately made his presence felt by virtue of working a walk in the first to spark the seven-run rally and hitting a two-run homer in the fifth to put the A's ahead 10-3. Another welcoming sight for the A's was the offensive performance of Josh Reddick, who collected three hits and drove in two runs.

Scott Kazmir takes the hill tomorrow for the A's at 1:05 p.m. at the Coliseum.