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Norris' career day powers A's past Nationals
Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Derek Norris recorded his first multi-homer game and drove in a career-high six runs to help the Oakland Athletics complete a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals with a 9-1 win.
Both of Norris' three-run homers came on 3-0 counts with two outs.
"Having arguably one of my best career games as a major league baseball player, it was a great moment," said Norris. "On top of playing the team that traded me for Gio Gonzalez, it was off of Gio Gonzalez. It's kind of crazy how it all works."
Oakland starter Scott Kazmir (5-1) had a strong outing, pitching seven shutout innings and allowing just four hits with four strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to a minuscule 2.28 for the season.
Brandon Moss collected three hits and Nick Punto drove in three runs for the A's, who have won four straight.
Gonzalez (3-3) made his return to Oakland and was roughed up for seven runs on nine hits with four strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.
Gonzalez spent his first four major league seasons with Oakland and compiled a 38-32 record with a 3.93 ERA before being dealt to Washington in 2011.
"It's always nice to come back to Oakland and see some familiar faces and enjoy it," Gonzalez said. "But I still have a job to do, and that's to go out there and pitch. Obviously it was a different story today."
Jayson Werth had two hits and Zach Walters had the lone RBI for Washington, which has lost four of its last five.
With two outs in the bottom of first inning, Josh Donaldson walked and Yoenis Cespedes reached on an infield single for Oakland. Norris then stepped in and launched his first three-run shot over the out-of-town scoreboard in left- center.
Alberto Callaspo and Moss followed with singles before Punto plated Callaspo with a poke into right that made it 4-0 after the first.
Norris struck again an inning later, yanking a 3-0 offering into the seats in left that stretched the margin to 7-0.
Callaspo walked and Moss doubled to left-center to lead off the seventh, then Punto slapped a double into left that plated the two.
Walters stroked an RBI single to center off Jim Johnson in the ninth to spoil the shutout and account for the final margin.
Oakland had 13 hits ... The Nats were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position ... Washington wraps up its six-game road trip with three in Arizona starting on Monday ... Oakland concludes its 10-game homestand with a three-game set against the Chicago White Sox on Monday.
05/11 20:56:53 ET
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