Gray helps A's take rubber match from Orioles
Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Sonny Gray pitched 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball as the Oakland Athletics crushed the Baltimore Orioles, 10-2, in the rubber match of a three-game set on Sunday.
Gray (11-3) allowed just one earned run on two hits and struck out eight in his fourth straight win.
The 24-year-old also made amends for his performance in Baltimore on June 7, where he allowed five runs in a 6-3 loss to the O's. Gray has allowed one earned run or less in four straight outings and the A's have been winners the last six times he's taken the hill.
"He's one of the best pitchers in the American League right now," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Gray.
Josh Donaldson, Craig Gentry and John Jaso each knocked in two runs for the A's, while Stephen Vogt turned in a 3-for-4 effort with an RBI and a run scored.
Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman (4-3), who opposed Gray in early June, was roughed up for five runs on nine hits with six strikeouts.
"We had some good approaches today," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "We made a tough pitcher, who had some success against us last time, really work."
Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy each had an RBI in the setback.
Coco Crisp lined a single into right to lead off the game for Oakland, then raced home when Jaso knocked a triple to right-center field.
Jaso proceeded to score on Gausman's wild pitch and the A's jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
With one out in the third, Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Moss reached with singles that put runners at the corners. Donaldson followed with a shallow fly to center, where Adam Jones secured the catch but started to jog off the field, thinking he made the final out of the inning. Cespedes trotted home on the miscue to make it a 3-0 game.
Oakland added another run in the fourth on a single from Jaso. Eric Sogard singled with one out and moved up to second when Crisp drew a walk. Jaso then stepped in and flared a Gausman offering out to left that scored Sogard.
Gray allowed just a walk through four innings before Baltimore finally broke through in the fifth. Chris Davis led off the frame with a walk and Hardy collected the first hit and RBI for the O's with a double over Crisp's head in center.
The A's got the run back in the home half, though. Donaldson singled to begin the frame and chase Gausman, and Vogt greeted reliever T.J. McFarland with a double to left that made it 5-1.
Following a strikeout of Jed Lowrie, Gentry tapped a grounder down to third, where Machado whipped a low throw over to first that got away and allowed Vogt to cross home. Sogard drove Gentry in with a high chopper to Hardy that pushed the margin to 7-1.
Oakland continued to pour it on in the sixth with an RBI single from Donaldson and a two-run hit from Gentry.
A throwing error by Lowrie allowed Nelson Cruz to advance to second with no outs in the seventh. Gray then struck out Davis and got Hardy to flyout to center before Machado lifted a single into left that plated Cruz.
The hit ended Gray's day and another error, this time by Sogard, kept the inning alive. However, Eric O'Flaherty struck out Caleb Joseph to end the frame.
O'Flaherty pitched a scoreless eighth and Sean Doolittle set the visitors down in order in the ninth to close out the series win.
The A's committed three errors ... Oakland finished with 15 hits and went 5- for-14 with runners in scoring position ... Baltimore went 1-for-9 with RISP ... The Athletics welcome Houston for a three-game set starting on Tuesday ... The O's will continue their 10-game road trip with a three-game series against the Angels before a four-game set in Seattle.
07/21 08:32:53 ET