OAKLAND -- Derek Norris earned himself a new nickname of "3-0, D-No" with his performance in Sunday's 9-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Norris tagged a pair of three-run home runs on 3-0 counts against former A's All-Star Gio Gonzalez to help Oakland complete a three-game sweep of the Nationals.

For Norris, who was traded from the Nationals to the A's in December 2011 in a deal involving Gonzalez, it was his first career multi-homer game, and they came in the first two innings.

"Just one of them special days. Can't really explain it other than somewhere Mama's giving me the power and strength to do something special on her day," Norris said of his Mother's Day feat.

Manager Bob Melvin gave Norris the green light in part because the A's rarely do so and he figured Gonzalez, having spent four big league seasons in Oakland, might be surprised.

"We don't do it a whole lot, especially against starters," Melvin said. "I think more than anything, probably the first time, Gio's been around here and knows we don't do that a whole lot. There's a little give and take to doing that if a guy has his good command early, and it didn't really look like Gio did."

Norris' two blasts were nearly identical on fastballs that sat right over the middle of the plate. Gonzalez seemed particularly frustrated after the second blast.

"Three-0, you try to get a pitch over the plate," Gonzalez said. "He took advantage of what you're supposed to do. Runners on base, two outs, why not try to capitalize on a pitcher's mistake, which is falling behind on a good hitter."

While Gonzalez was in a challenge mode when Norris hit the first-inning homer, he said the second-inning blast came on a pitch that went away from the target.

"In my mind I felt like it went a little more inside than what it was," Gonzalez said. "You look back at it, it was right down the middle."

Norris said he was surprised to see the second-inning pitch come right back down the plate.

"Last thing on my mind was that he was going to go there," Norris said. "Stay down and away or something, but he threw it middle away the first at-bat, maybe he thought he'd sneak one in there on the 3-0 again. I rarely miss those."

Norris delivered plenty of support for starter Scott Kazmir (5-1), who rebounded from his first loss of the season to throw seven shutout innings. Kazmir retired 15 batters in a row during one stretch and credited the early support provided by Norris.

"I don't think I've ever seen something like that before," Kazmir said. "Two 3-0 counts and being able to hit it right on the nose. That was awesome, especially early on in the game. I had a nice little cushion to be able to go out there and relax and play my game."

  • The status of injured outfielder and leadoff hitter Coco Crisp remained unchanged. He was able to go out on the field for some light running before Sunday's game with the possibility that he could take some swings in the batting cage if his strained neck felt better. But Melvin said there's still no timetable on his return.

  • The A's celebrated Mother's Day with their annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day and raised $70,635 through various fundraisers. As was the case throughout baseball, some players wore pink shoes, shoelaces, wristbands, arm sleeves and used pink bats. "It's for a great cause," Melvin said. "The fact that it's on Mother's Day, too, usually makes for a good time here at our ballpark, and all our guys embrace it."

    MONDAY'S GAME

    Chicago White Sox (John Danks 3-2) at A's (Jesse Chavez 2-1), 7:05 p.m. CSNCA

    CATCHING ON

    A's catcher Derek Norris has been on a tear over the past month while platooning with John Jaso. Here are Norris' numbers since April 15:

    AB H AVG. 2B HR RBI
    53 24 .453 5 2 15