OAKLAND -- The A's got a stellar start from Sonny Gray, and Rajai Davis provided the offensive spark against his former team as the A's cruised to a 5-0 win over the Indians on Friday night at the Coliseum.Davis opened the night's scoring in the third, leading off the inning
OAKLAND -- The A's got a stellar start from Sonny Gray, and Rajai Davis provided the offensive spark against his former team as the A's cruised to a 5-0 win over the Indians on Friday night at the Coliseum.
Davis opened the night's scoring in the third, leading off the inning with a single and racing home on Matt Joyce's double. The A's added another in the third on a Marcus Semien sacrifice fly.
Davis again did damage to start an inning, taking Indians starter Carlos Carrasco deep to left-center for his third homer of the season in the fifth. Yonder Alonso added a solo shot, his 21st of the season, later in the inning.
"He can impact a game any number of ways," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Davis. "It was good -- with [Jaycob] Brugman being sick today, he got a start against a righty and a guy he's had some at-bats against, too. Probably his best work has come here the last five, six, seven games or so. And hitting a home run off that guy, too, that's not an easy task. So he had a really good game for us tonight."
Davis added, "It's actually just fun being able to jog around the bases, and being able to help us win is even funner. I'm just glad I was in a position and got the opportunity. Just very thankful that I put the right swing on that ball."
It was more than enough support for Gray, who gave up just two hits and walked one in six scoreless innings. He struck out five and induced seven groundouts in a 100-pitch outing.
"We've seen him pitch well and tonight he was in command from the beginning," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We never were able to get much going at all. Again, everything was down and off of the fastball in the same location [as] that fading changeup. It was a good pitch."
Carrasco went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits and two walks while striking out 10, his third double-digit strikeout night of 2017.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Taking an extra base: Aggressive baserunning from both Davis and Joyce paid off for the A's in the third inning. On Joyce's double to the wall in right-center, Davis slid in just ahead of Indians catcher Yan Gomes' diving tag attempt. The relay throw from second baseman Erik Gonzalez forced the catcher to the first-base side of the plate. On the play, Joyce hustled to third, just beating Gomes' throw there. He would score on Semien's deep flyout to center two pitches later.
"As soon as I picked my head up, I took a quick peek and saw the second baseman had the ball and they were about to throw home, I said, 'Uh oh. This is gonna be close,'" Davis said. "When Gomes took a little step to the right, I said, 'Now I can see where he goes and then I'm going to slide the other way.'"
"We probably get [Davis] if Gonzy keeps it on the infield side of the [plate]," Francona said. "We had a real legit shot there. That's tough. When you go for it like that, you're conceding another 90 feet going to third. There's not a whole lot of in-between there."
Alonso adds on: Fresh off of a stellar night at the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, Alonso continued his career year. Three batters after Davis' homer in the fifth, Alonso blasted a Carrasco fastball to right-center field to extend the A's lead to four. His 21st homer extended his career-high mark for this year, which previously was nine in 2012.
"Four days of no running and then you've got to run. That's always fun." -- Davis on his mad dash from first to home in the first game after the All-Star break
"That's kind of the way Oakland's been. They can hit the ball out of the ballpark. Even in this spacious place, they hit the ball out of the ballpark. That's part of what they do." -- Francona, on the A's home runs off Carrasco
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Four of the Indians' past nine losses have been shutouts. Cleveland has scored three runs total in its past four games in Oakland, dating back to last season. More >
Indians: Ace Corey Kluber is scheduled to take the ball for the Tribe in a 9:05 p.m. ET tilt with the A's on Saturday at the Coliseum. Kluber has given up no more than one earned run in each of his past five starts. Over his last eight turns, the righty has a 1.29 ERA with 82 strikeouts, 11 walks and a .413 opponents' OPS in 56 innings.
Athletics: The A's will send rookie right-hander Paul Blackburn to the mound for Saturday's 6:05 p.m. PT matchup with the Indians at the Coliseum. Blackburn allowed just one run in each of his first two big league starts.
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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.
Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.