Jul 20, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) throws a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles during the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Baltimore Orioles 10-2. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Sonny Gray Shines in July for Oakland A's

There is no doubt that Sonny Gray has become the ace of the Oakland Athletics’ pitching staff. In only his second year in the MLB, Gray is already becoming a household name.

Gray is on an impressive streak, one similar to Clayton Kershaw’s historic June. In July, Gray has posted a 0.95 ERA and has won all four of his starts. This was after he had a subpar June, going 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA.

The biggest difference from June to July for Gray is his effectiveness under pressure. In June, the opposition hit an astounding .379 with runners in scoring position off of him. In July, however, he has buckled down and held them to an .048 average.

What’s equally impressive is that he has started 10 more games this year than all of last season, and has only allowed THREE more home runs in DOUBLE the amount of innings.

This is mainly due to his curveball. It is downright FILTHY. He diverted away from it in June, which is one of the reasons it was the worst month in his young career. Since the clock struck midnight on the first of July, Gray has gone back to it. He has thrown it 33 percent of the time this month and uses it as his put-away pitch.

Over his last six starts, Gray has earned a victory in five of them, with Oakland winning a game in extra innings against the Miami Marlins which gave him a no-decision. In Gray’s last start, he held the powerful Baltimore Orioles’ offense to two runs (one of those unearned), and two hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and only walked two, which brought his season ERA down to a respectable 2.72. This win was Gray’s 11th of the season, against only three losses.

This streak has come at the best time for Gray and the A’s. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have been red hot of late, which has put them only two games behind Oakland for the best record in the MLB.

The A’s look to bounce back from last night’s 4-1 loss to the Texas Rangers. Will Gray continue to shine for Oakland and finish the month of July perfect?

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Tags: Oakland Athletics Sonny Gray

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