Sonny Gray made sure that the Oakland Athletics ended the first half of the season on a high note.
The A’s salvaged the final game of the series against the Seattle Mariners, as Gray worked 7.2 innings allowing one unearned run on six hits while punching out five. The right-hander improves to 10-3 on the season and is now 7-1 against the AL West. The club enters the All-Star Break an MLB-best 59-36, holding a 1.5-game edge over the Los Angeles Angels in the division.
Oakland fell behind 1-0 in the first inning when the Mariners scored an unearned run on a ground out off the bat from Robinson Cano. The run had been set up by an errant pickoff attempt from Gray, which allowed James Jones to advance from first to third.
The A’s jumped ahead in the fifth thanks to a couple of two-out hits from Craig Gentry and John Jaso. Gentry lashed a single to center to drive in Jed Lowrie to tie the game. Jaso then stepped to the plate and lofted a single into left field to bring home Andy Parrino. The switch-hitting Parrino, who had been recalled from Triple-A earlier in the day with Albert Callaspo landing on the DL, got the start in left field.
In the sixth, the A’s grabbed a third run courtesy of Brandon Moss, who clubbed his 21st home run into the seat in right field. Nick Punto then made it 4-1with his second home runs of the season, which stayed just inside the foul pole in left.
Sean Doolittle closed out the win for the A’s, recording his first four out save of the season and the third of his career. The left-handed closer finished the first half with a 63 to 2 K/BB ratio.
The A’s are now off until Friday, July 18 when Jeff Samardzija takes the mound against the Baltimore Orioles. First pitch at the O.co Coliseum is scheduled for 7:05pm.