OAKLAND – Sonny Gray’s turn in the rotation couldn’t have come soon enough for the A’s.
Oakland’s ace overcame a shaky start and put the clamps on the Los Angeles Angels in a 6-2 victory Tuesday night that snapped the A’s four-game losing streak.
They hadn’t won since a 9-2 win last Wednesday in Anaheim, which also happened to be the last time Gray took the mound. The right-hander went eight innings and allowed two runs, which both came in the first. The A’s answered with five runs in the bottom of the first and took control to win the opener of this three-game series. The game wrapped in just 2 hours, 6 minutes.
Gray improved to 3-0 with a 1.98 ERA, and he continued his mastery in April. For his career, he is 7-1 with a 2.02 ERA in 10 career starts in the month.
His work Tuesday helped the A’s snap a five-game losing streak at home, and manager Bob Melvin talked before the game of his team’s need to play better in front of its home crowd. The A’s entered the night just 3-7 at the Coliseum, matching their second-worst record over the first 10 home games in Oakland history (the 2001 team started 1-9).
Starting pitching report
Gray looked very hittable early on. David Freese’s two-run single off him in the first gave the Angels a 2-0 lead. Los Angeles collected five hits off Gray over the first two innings. But then the right-hander settled in and retired 18 of his final 19 hitters, and the one batter that reached – Erick Aybar on a single in the seventh – was erased on a ground-ball double play.
Evan Scribner took care of the ninth in impressive fashion, striking out the side to cinch the victory.
At the plate
After the A’s fell behind in the top of the first, it was the bottom portion of their lineup that did the major damage in the bottom half, when the A’s scored five times off Weaver to take control of the game. Marcus Semien and Stephen Vogt singled with one out, then Weaver hit Billy Butler with a pitch to load the bases. Ike Davis popped out, but Josh Reddick delivered a two-run single to tie the game. On the very next pitch, Brett Lawrie drilled a three-run homer to left to make it 5-2.
It was Lawrie’s first home run at the Coliseum as an Athletic, and it came on the heels of a three-RBI game for the third baseman Sunday. That’s welcome production for Oakland, as is Reddick’s recent tear. The right fielder added a solo shot in the sixth to pad the A’s lead, and Reddick is 10-for-19 (.526) over his past six games.
In the field
The A’s didn’t commit an error in the game and second baseman Eric Sogard and Lawrie each turned in standout plays behind Gray.
The announced attendance was 17,674, a relatively decent turnout for a Tuesday night game in April at the Coliseum.
After missing his last turn through the rotation due to a blister on his throwing hand, Jesse Hahn (1-1, 2.12) takes the ball for the A’s in Wednesday’s 7:05 p.m. game. Matt Shoemaker (2-1, 6.46) is scheduled to come off the bereavement list and pitch for the Angels.