August 22, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) is congratulated after being removed from the game in a pitching change against the Los Angeles Angels during the ninth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Athletics defeated the Angels 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Sonny Gray Shines Against Angels

The Oakland A’s gained some ground in the A.L. West race thanks in part to a fantastic outing by starter Sonny Gray.

Sonny Gray went 8.1 innings this evening and surrendered three runs on six hits. Things didn’t start how he wanted as he was taken deep in the first inning by Mike Trout, but afterward he settled in.

That was until the fourth inning where he allowed the second solo home run of the game to the Angels, and this time it was Josh Hamilton who knocked the ball out of the park.

In the ninth inning –in a bid for his second complete game of the season — Sonny Gray started well by getting Albert Pujols to line-out for the first out of the inning. However, he ended up walking his next batter, Hamilton, and was immediately pulled in favor of Sean Doolittle.

After a couple of singles Hamilton would come in to score (that run was charged to Gray) and the Angels were threatening for more. It got nerve-wracking too, as the next hitter Eric Aybar walked to load the bases. But, Doolittle was able to get out of the jam and end the game with a bases-loaded strikeout to win game one of the series. He picked up his 19th save of the season in the process.

Offensively Oakland’s runs were spread throughout the game. Coco Crisp started things off for the A’s in the bottom of the first with a lead off home run which made it 1-1 at that point.

Later on, with the game even at two apiece in the sixth, Sam Fuld would hit an RBI triple followed by a sacrifice fly by Andy Parrino giving the A’s a 4-2 lead.

In the bottom of the eighth Stephen Vogt hit a solo home run to give his pitcher a little extra breathing room as he made it a 5-2 game. That proved to be helpful as the Angels did score once in the ninth before Doolittle closed the game out.

After winning the first game of this pivotal three-game series against the Anaheim Angels, the A’s will try and pick up another win in game two. For a complete look at this series and tomorrow’s probables, check that out here.

Tags: Coco Crisp Oakland Athletics Sam Fuld Sean Doolittle Sonny Gray

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