OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Sonny Gray ended a monthlong losing streak, pitching into the ninth inning and leading the Oakland Athletics over the Los Angeles Angels 5-3 Friday night in a matchup of AL West rivals.
Coco Crisp hit his 15th career leadoff home run and Stephen Vogt added a solo shot for Oakland in the opener of a three-game series. Sam Fuld hit a go-ahead triple in the sixth inning and the A's pulled within one game of the division-leading Angels.
Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton homered for the Angels
Gray (13-7) allowed three runs and six hits over 8 1-3 innings. Sean Doolittle recorded the final two outs for his 19th save, fanning pinch-hitter Chris Iannetta with the bases loaded to end it.
Fuld tripled off reliever Jason Grilli (1-2), and a crowd of 33,810 roared its approval.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia noted before the game that "the pennant race is in full bloom." The night had that type of feel, too.
Gray settled down after a shaky start to win for the first time July 26. Oakland's opening day starter, he had lost his previous four starts — that skid came after he had won six straight decisions.
Gray struck out five, walked two and left to a rousing ovation.
The Angels, owners of the best record in the majors, didn't get much rest before the game. They completed a four-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox late Thursday, then took a red-eye flight to California. Players and coaches didn't make it to their hotel in San Francisco until 4 a.m. Friday.
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards underwent surgery to repair the torn patellar tendon in his left knee. Scioscia said that Richards' surgery "went as expected." He added that the timetable for Richards' recovery remains six to nine months.
Athletics: OF Craig Gentry (broken right hand) was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list. RHP Dan Otero was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. ... 1B Kyle Blanks is having pain in both feet and his lower legs so the team scheduled him for an MRI.
Angels: LHP C.J. Wilson (10-8) is 4-0 with a 2.60 ERA in five starts against the A's last season.
Athletics: LHP Jon Lester (13-8) looks to bounce back from his first loss in an Oakland uniform and his first defeat since June 7 while with Boston.