Gossett held a dangerous Astros lineup to six hits in 6 2/3 innings, but one of them was mashed over the center-field wall. Jake Marisnick's two-run homer in the fifth inning scored the game's first runs, and by night's end, the Astros counted off two more long balls against Oakland's bullpen.
The A's four-game winning streak was consequently put to rest, but in a season that's swiftly ushering in a youth movement with the focus very much on the future, much can be gleaned from Gossett's showing.
Just five days ago, Gossett was rocked for seven runs (six earned) in 3 1/3 innings in Miami. His Major League debut featured six hits, two of them homers, and just 62 pitches. On Monday, Gossett gave the A's 100 pitches, throwing 70 of them for strikes, and didn't walk a batter. Especially impressive was a curveball he threw with conviction.
A's manager Bob Melvin noticed the pitcher "just kind of settled in and wasn't on the run."
"A lot more focused," Gossett said. "I realized that every pitch deserves every bit of focus I've got, and I was able to stay focused throughout the game and on every pitch we focused. That was a key learning point. I'm glad I learned it early. But it goes to show you one pitch that gets away from you is the one that hurts you."
After yielding Evan Gattis' second double to lead off the fifth, Gossett recorded two groundouts and was one pitch away from leaving the inning unscathed when Marisnick connected on a 2-2 fastball for a Statcast-projected 440-foot shot to center field.
"I wanted it off the plate, and I kind of overthrew it just a touch and it just ran back over the middle," Gossett said. "That's the one pitch. That was the one I missed my spot, and they made me pay for it. It was down, but it was still a very good pitch to hit in that count."
The A's struggled to do much offensively against Astros starter Brad Peacock, a former member of the A's organization, and only came up with one run by the time Gossett was lifted with two outs in the seventh to a standing ovation from an announced crowd of 10,482.
"Awesome. Unbelievable," Gossett said. "Not a huge crowd, but it was more people than I've ever played in front of, so it was awesome.
"I need to learn from this start as much as I learned from the last start and be able to maintain that focus throughout the game."
"He was on a mission, so he went out there determined, threw his game and was pretty impressive tonight," catcher Josh Phegley said. "I thought he did a great job."
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.