A’s turn to undefeated Gray in finale with Rangers

(SportsNetwork.com) – Right-hander Sonny Gray will try to remain unbeaten on
the season Sunday afternoon when the Oakland Athletics conclude a three-game
series with the Texas Rangers.

Off to a 3-0 beginning to his campaign, Gray won his second straight start —
both against the Los Angeles Angels — with a 6-2 decision on Tuesday. He held
the Angels to a pair of runs over eight innings, though his earned run average
actually rose from 1.91 to 1.98. He struck out a total of 13 batters in 15
innings of the two victories.

The 25-year-old beat Texas in his season debut on April 6, holding the Rangers
to only one hit and walking one over eight innings of an 8-0 decision. Gray
moved to 5-2 in seven career starts versus the Rangers with a 1.74 ERA.

Right-hander Yovani Gallardo hopes to avoid a third straight losing start as
he takes the mound today for the Rangers.

Gallardo has followed up a two-start win streak with back-to-back losses,
falling 3-1 to Seattle on Monday. He yielded three runs over six innings,
allowing only three hits but also walking three. Gallardo did strike out five,
but fell to 2-3 with a 4.05 ERA on the year.

The 29-year-old lost to Oakland and Gray on April 6, charged with four runs
over four innings. It was his second loss in as many career starts against the

Texas evened this series on Saturday night thanks to an 8-7 victory, with
Rougned Odor driving in the winning run with a bases-loaded single in the 10th

After Shin-Soo Choo doubled to right field, both Robinson Chirinos and Carlos
Peguero walked. R.J. Alvarez then replaced Ryan Cook on the mound and Odor’s
ground ball deflected off the glove of a diving Marcus Semien and into center
field to plate Choo.

Josh Reddick’s three-run homer capped a six-run seventh inning to give the A’s
a 7-3 advantage, but Oakland’s bullpen failed to hold the lead and the club
lost for the seventh time in nine games.

“It’s disheartening,” A’s catcher Stephen Vogt said. “We’ve played a lot of
good games, but our record doesn’t show it.”

Drew Pomeranz threw the first 5 1/3 innings for the A’s, while Nick Martinez
went the first six-plus frames for the Rangers.

Keone Kela pitched the top of the 10th for his first major league win as the
Rangers snapped a four-game skid.

“It’s another kick-start to the engine, and allowed everybody to kick in on
their own,” Kela said.

Kyle Blanks went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBI, and Choo belted a three-
run homer.

These teams split a four-game set to start the year.