Sonny Gray Terrific, But Oakland Athletics Drop 6-5 Decision To San Diego Padres


After opening spring training with a couple of duds, Sonny Gray’s third Cactus League start was an absolute gem.

Gray threw four shutout innings Tuesday, allowing just one hit and striking out two, in a 45-pitch outing, but the Oakland Athletics bullpen couldn’t hold a 5-0 lead in a 6-5 loss to the San Diego Padres at Peoria Sports Complex.

Oakland (6-5) jumped on Padres starter Ian Kennedy for three runs before he could record an out, stringing together three straight extra base hits to start the game. Coco Crisp lined a double to right field to lead off and John Jaso switched places with Crisp after lacing a double of his own to right. Jed Lowrie followed with his first homer of the spring.

The A’s came up with a little two-out magic in the second. Eric Sogard grounded a single up the middle and came around to score when Crisp hit his second straight double.

Lowrie smacked a one-out double off Padres reliever Robbie Erlin in the fifth inning and one out later, Josh Reddick chased Lowrie home with a single up the middle to make it 5-0.

San Diego (5-6) was apparently just getting started.

The Padres picked up their first run in the bottom of the fifth when Kyle Blanks singled with one out, moved up to second on a wild pitch by Drew Pomeranz and scored when third baseman Alberto Callaspo couldn’t handle Nick Hundley’s grounder.

Fernando Abad came in to work the sixth for the A’s and got a run on a rare double-play sacrifice fly. Former Athletic Seth Smith beat out an infield single and was pulled for pinch-runner Rico Noel. Will Venable followed with a single to right to move Noel to third and Jeff Gyorko flew out to Reddick, who threw home. Noel scored, but Jaso made a heads-up throw to second to nail Venable trying to advance on the back end of the play to end the inning.

But the Padres rallied in the seventh against A’s reliever Philip Humber (0-1).

After a double and a hit batsman, Alex Dickerson powered his second homer of the spring to right center field to tie the game at 5-5. Humber then walked Ryan Jackson and was yanked in favor of Evan Scribner. Jackson stole second, moved to third on Cory Spangenberg’s single and scored when Noel grounded out.

Oakland couldn’t do anything with two hits and a walk in the top of the eighth and went down in order in the ninth.

Pomeranz struck out two and gave up an unearned run in his lone inning of work and Abad gave up a run on two hits. Humber allowed four runs on two hits with a walk while retiring just one batter. Scribner gave up a hit and fanned a batter in two-thirds of an inning and Matt Buschmann pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out two.

The A’s had 12 hits on the day, including two each by Crisp, Lowrie and Luke Montz, who had a double.

Oakland returns to Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Wednesday to host the Kansas City Royals at 1:05 p.m. Pacific.