O.CO COLISEUM — It’s not every day a team can score 10 runs in six innings without a home run.
That’s exactly what Oakland did Sunday, spanking Baltimore 10-2 to win their season series against the O’s.
Sonny Gray (6-2/3 IP, 2 H, 8 K 1 ER, W) got all the support he could ask for. He wasn’t a slouch, either, rolling through the Orioles like pizza dough.
Gray, who has four wins in four July starts, spoke about his success coming off an A’s loss:
“It’s big games. Coming off a loss, I really want to put up a good performance and really want to get the team back on track with a win. I think everyone’s very conscious of it, and being able to do that, I feel like, can be loosening to the team.”
Since quickly becoming a fan favorite in 2013, Gray has posted 16 career wins in 30 starts. Though his short career has been a successful one, he entered Sunday with an 0-2 record and 11.42 ERA against Baltimore.
The win pushes Gray’s season line to 11 wins and only three losses, with 116 strikeouts in 132-1/3 innings.
Josh Donaldson spearheaded the offensive attack yet again, with two hits in three at bats for two runs and two RBI. The first RBI came on a bizarre sacrifice fly — the first of three in the inning.
Donaldson’s fly ball was caught by center fielder Adam Jones, who began jogging toward the dugout. Though it was only the second out of the inning, several Orioles followed Jones’ lead.
After several seconds Jones realized his mistake. But not before Donaldson became confused. Donaldson chuckled as he spoke:
“I didn’t know if the scoreboard was wrong. I went out there, and I thought there was one out. I went out and said ‘sac-fly, alright, good.’ Then I saw him running off, and was like ‘I hope that’s a sac-fly.'”
Manager Bob Melvin termed the incident a “monkey-see, monkey-do” type of thing, as multiple Baltimore players began prancing off the field, adding:
“It looked like the whole team was coming off. It’s amazing how one guy can affect everybody out there. In the dugout, we were hoping to get a fly ball and at least get the run in, and the next thing you know, the whole dugout from both sides are coming off the field. … Something where one guy does something, and everybody else follows the lead. It was a little odd.”
If there was two outs during that time, it wouldn’t have mattered much, since the A’s were on fire. Oakland’s bats were so hot Sunday, shortstop Jed Lowrie was the only player to not score a run.
Half of those runs were charged to Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman (L, 4-3, 4.04 ERA, 6 K, 9 H, 5 ER), who only lasted four innings.
To Gausman’s credit, striking out six A’s batters in four innings is a feat. Losing to Oakland has become a common feeling for opponents around the league. And not being able to hit A’s pitching, that’s called Tuesday or Wednesday. Almost every day.
The A’s continue their homestand Tuesday, hosting the improved but still struggling Houston Astros. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
Second baseman Eric Sogard snapped a 62 game errorless streak after a 7th inning mishap. The streak was the fourth longest by an Oakland second baseman. … Do-it-all catcher-outfielder Stephen Vogt is now hitting .388 against right-handers, after going 3-4 Sunday, and collected three hits for the first time this season. … Yoenis Cespedes snapped an 18-game streak without an extra base hit, with a sixth inning double. … The A’s have won 10 of their last 14, and 19 of their last 28 games.