OAKLAND — Before Sonny Gray’s scheduled start on Friday against the Cleveland Indians, reports of him being scratched due to an imminent trade surfaced on Twitter. It turned out to be an internet hoax, but his performance on the mound was no joke.
Gray, whose name continues to come up in trade rumors as the deadline approaches, dominated the defending American League champions, tossing six innings of shutout ball with five strikeouts as the A’s returned from the All-Star break with a 5-0 victory in front of 19,870 at the Coliseum.
After racking up five strikeouts, all swinging, in the first four innings, Gray then began to pitch to contact and allowed his defense to help him control his pitch count in order to extend his night by a couple of innings. Gray reached 100 pitches and was replaced by Ryan Madson to begin the seventh, marking his fourth consecutive start in which he pitched at least six innings with two runs allowed or less and his first of the season in which he gave up no runs. Giving up just two hits and a walk, it was Gray’s best outing of the year.
The A’s offense provided plenty of support for its ace with an outburst that featured two home runs off Carlos Carrasco. Rajai Davis, postseason revelation for the Indians last year, took his former teammate deep in the fifth with a solo home run. All-Star Yonder Alonso also homered in the same inning, also a solo shot for his 21st of the season, to put the A’s ahead 4-0.
Davis sparked a two-run rally in the third. After reaching first on an infield single to lead off the inning, Matt Joyce blasted a double that reached the wall in right-center that enabled Davis to barely beat a throw home to score on a close play at the plate to put the A’s ahead 1-0. Joyce took third base on the throw home, and two pitches later he scored on a sacrifice fly from Marcus Semien to extend the lead to 2-0.
The A’s added another run in the seventh after Matt Chapman led off the inning with a triple and scored on a wild pitch from reliever Nick Goody to make it 5-0.
Madson, Sean Doolittle and Santiago Casilla closed out the game by combining to allow just two hits and striking out six in three innings.
- A’s pitcher Andrew Triggs underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Dr. Marc Philippon performed the surgery on Thursday in Vail, Colorado, on the right-hander. “We got a couple of different opinions but they all came up the same,” manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s going to be a while.” Melvin was unsure of a timetable for Triggs’ return next season. Triggs got off to a nice start with the club by going 5-2 with a 2.12 ERA in his first eight starts, but his numbers had declined severely in his last four starts (0-4, 9.64 ERA) before being placed on the disabled list June 10.
- Catcher Ryan Lavarnway cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Nashville. He played in one game for Oakland and went 0 for 2 after being called up July 5. He was designated for assignment on Saturday.
- Chris Bassitt is slated for a rehab assignment at Triple-A Nashville on Sunday as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. He is scheduled to throw three innings or 45 pitches.
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