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Gray rocked in A’s loss

If Sonny Gray loses his bid for the 2015 Cy Young award, Wednesday would be a big reason.

Oakland’s ace allowed six runs over five innings, and gave up eight hits as the Angels trounced the A’s 9-4. It was not typical Gray, the last time he gave up six runs was exactly one calendar year ago.

A wild pitch allowed outfielder Kole Calhoun to cross for the Angels first run in the first inning, David Murphy knocked in Mike Trout in the next at bat.

Designated hitter Albert Pujols scored as first baseman C.J. Cron grounded out. And third baseman David Freese singled to deep right field, scoring Murphy.

Four runs in the first inning. It was not Gray’s (L, 12-7, 2.36 ERA) best, and may be his worst showing in his big league career.

The A’s answered in kind, though, scoring three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Third baseman Danny Valencia singled, scoring Brett Lawrie, and catcher Josh Phegley homered to straightaway center field, bringing in Valencia.

The A’s were back in it, for a moment. Pujols took Gray deep, though, scoring Calhoun and providing enough insurance for Angels starter Andrew Heaney (W, 6-2, 3.18 ERA) to get into a groove.

It’s a good thing for the A’s that there’s an off day Thursday, too, since they used six relievers over four innings. Oakland’s bullpen threw 62 pitches, and the energy is sapped, even more than it already was.

Ryan Dull, who made his big league debut Thursday night and did pretty well for himself, duplicating his previous line of one scoreless inning and one strikeout.

Dull, part of the roster expansion call ups, could become a staple in the Oakland pen if he continues to do the things that he’s done over the last two days.

At 25-year-old, he’s got plenty of time to grow and will be under team control until 2021. That’s a good thing for a ball club that has led the majors in every relief category that a bullpen doesn’t want to lead.

The A’s face off against Seattle this weekend, starting Friday and ending Sunday, and should have an easier time against a club who is in a similar spot as the A’s.

Neither are in playoff contention, and both are looking closely at some of the talent in their farm systems, hoping they can find a few diamonds.

Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at for full coverage of the Oakland Athletics.

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