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Astros fall behind by seven runs in first inning to A's on way to losing fifth straight game

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OAKLAND, California — Bo Porter's team had already fallen behind big when he lost his temper.

Angered by Jed Lowrie's bunt attempt in the first inning of Oakland's 11-3 victory Friday night, Porter left the dugout after Lowrie's flyball in the third and began yelling at the shortstop.

"Nothing happened," Porter said. "The game takes care of itself."

Lowrie insists he calmly asked Houston's Jose Altuve why the Astros were trying to hit him on a pair of inside pitches in the third. He said he tried to bunt in the first because it made sense after the Astros had shifted.

Oh, the debates of baseball's unwritten rules.

Lowrie said the situation dictated that he try to put a bunt down, and the first inning is far too early not to look to add on runs.

"I've seen crazier things happen than a team come back from seven runs. I don't know what the big deal is. If they want to hold a grudge, that's their decision," he said. "I just asked Altuve a question in about this tone and Bo came running out of the dugout yelling at me. I just don't understand why he came out in such a rage. ... I just don't get it. I don't know what it shows, but not a lot of confidence in his own team. Point blank."

Alberto Callaspo hit a three-run homer and the A's went deep four times in all to back Sonny Gray's strong pitching.

Josh Reddick and Coco Crisp each added a two-run shot for Oakland. Yoenis Cespedes hit a solo homer in the second inning to follow up his two-run single in the first against Jarred Cosart (1-2).

Cespedes' single came one batter before Callaspo connected for his second home run of the season. John Jaso drew Cosart's fourth walk of the first inning before Reddick hit his first homer with his own towering drive to right field.

PHOTO: Houston Astros' Paul Clemens (56) places his hand to his face in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Friday, April 18, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. At left is catcher Jason Castro, at right Matt Dominguez. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Houston Astros' Paul Clemens (56) places his hand to his face in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Friday, April 18, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. At left is catcher Jason Castro, at right Matt Dominguez. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

That chased Cosart, who retired only one batter before being replaced by Paul Clemens.

Cosart understood Lowrie's strategy.

"His explanation was it was the first inning," Cosart said. "Personally I think he didn't want to make two outs in the same inning. But he's trying to get hits, get on base. From our standpoint, they were up 7-0. I didn't have a problem with it. I put us in that situation."

Cosart received a mound visit in the first after consecutive one-out walks to Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss loaded the bases. After a high pitch near Cespedes' head, the Cuban slugger lined a single into center field.

The shortest start of Cosart's career ended a solid stretch in which Astros starters posted a 3.00 ERA over the previous seven games. The seven runs were a career high.

Gray (3-0) gave up more than one earned run for the first time this season. He allowed RBI singles to Dexter Fowler and George Springer in the fifth along with Chris Carter's sacrifice fly before Crisp homered in the bottom half.

Springer went 2 for 5 while batting cleanup for the first time, two days after making his major league debut. Porter said he would have preferred to avoid putting the prized prospect in that position in his third game, but the manager wanted to shake up the lineup to get the Astros going.

Gray allowed nine hits, struck out four and walked two in six innings as the A's handed Houston its fifth straight loss and sixth in seven games.

Oakland's eight runs in the first two innings were more than the seven Houston totaled in its previous four.

Astros left fielder Alex Presley was a late scratch with flu-like symptoms and was replaced by L.J. Hoes.

NOTES: Cosart is the first starter in baseball this year to be knocked out so early. ... Springer got his first stolen base. ... The Astros went 3-7 at the Coliseum last season and 4-15 overall against the A's. ... Gray is 5-1 in nine career games against AL West teams.

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Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Houston Astros' Paul Clemens (56) places his hand to his face in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Friday, April 18, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. At left is catcher Jason Castro, at right Matt Dominguez. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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