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A's hammer Gray, overpower Yanks with 4 HRs

Davis, Chapman homer off ex-teammate; Fowler gets 1st MLB hit
May 11, 2018

NEW YORK -- The A's showed no mercy to old friend Sonny Gray on Friday night, beating up on their former ace within the confines of Yankee Stadium.Khris Davis reintroduced himself to Gray the only way he knows how, homering off the right-hander in the second inning to open the

NEW YORK -- The A's showed no mercy to old friend Sonny Gray on Friday night, beating up on their former ace within the confines of Yankee Stadium.
Khris Davis reintroduced himself to Gray the only way he knows how, homering off the right-hander in the second inning to open the scoring. Matt Chapman's two-run homer in the same inning staked the A's to a three-run lead that helped them claim a 10-5 series-opening victory.
Jed Lowrie and Matt Joyce also launched key late-inning homers as part of an encouraging offensive display, which included 14 hits. The A's had come up with just five runs total in their previous three games, all losses.

"We've been struggling some here recently, but part of our meeting here today is this is the ebbs and flows of the season. We can hit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We just got to power through a little bit, and you know against these guys, as hot as they've been swinging the bats, that you're going to have to put up some runs, so it's good to see the offense break out tonight."
Right-hander Kendall Graveman did his part in his return from the Minors, holding the red-hot Yankees -- winners of 17 of their previous 19 -- to just three hits, including two homers, across six innings after being recalled from Triple-A Nashville.

"I thought I attacked better and had a good mindset," Graveman said. "I stayed on location a lot better and the stuff was better. This organization has been nothing but good to me. I wasn't pitching well, went down to Nashville, continued to work, and to come back and feel good about it was a good start. My mindset was to just attack with the good stuff, and I thought we did that for the most part."
Graveman bested good friend Gray, who was responsible for five runs in as many innings. It was his first start against the A's since they shipped him to New York last summer for a package of three prospects, including center fielder Dustin Fowler, who singled off Gray in the fourth for his first Major League hit.

Gleyber Torres tagged Graveman for a solo shot in the third, and Aaron Judge struck for a three-run homer in the fifth to narrow Oakland's lead to one run. Lowrie's solo home run in the sixth -- his second of three hits on the night -- offered some breathing room, which proved necessary when the Yankees staged a rally in the seventh but came up with just a single run.
Joyce homered in the eighth, Marcus Semien chipped in with a bases-clearing double in the ninth and closer Blake Treinen secured four outs for his sixth save of the season.

Following Graveman's departure, the Yankees threatened in the seventh against Oakland's bullpen. Right-hander Ryan Dull left two on base for rookie Lou Trivino, who issued two walks to bring in a run. Clinging to a 6-5 lead, the A's turned to veteran Yusmeiro Petit, who induced a shallow fly ball from Didi Gregorius and got Giancarlo Stanton to pop out to squash the rally.
"That's a save right there," Melvin said. "In that situation, their 3-4 guys, so there were no two bigger outs."

Fowler drew all of the attention pregame, and for good reason. Then he went out and recorded his first Major League hit, sending a sharp single to right field against the pitcher he was traded for last year. Fowler's journey to this point wasn't easy; he was robbed of his first big league at-bat with the Yankees on June 29 last year when he suffered a career-threatening knee injury in the first inning of his debut.
"I enjoyed it because I was also able to get it off of Sonny as well," Fowler said. "It was kind of a cool situation right there. I enjoyed every second of it, and I was glad I was able to get it early." More >

• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Fowler became the second player this season to record his first career hit against the team that drafted him, joining Atlanta's Jesse Biddle, who doubled for his first hit on April 29 at Philadelphia. Fowler is the first player drafted by the Yankees to get his first Major League hit against them since Justin Turner on July 11, 2009, with Baltimore. Fowler is the first player to do so against the Yankees after debuting for them since Domingo Ramos on May 23, 1980, with Toronto.
• Davis' home run gave him 10 on the season -- and 95 since 2016, tied with Stanton for most in the Majors in that span. Davis has driven in at least one run in six of his past seven games, and his 32 RBIs were tied for second in the American League.

"My wife and I went to Sonny's house [in Nashville], and his wife and [son] Gunnar were over there, and I spent about an hour and a half with his son playing. It was good to catch up, and of course, we are really close friends. It was unique to pitch against him. We've been friends since I came over here and he's a great guy. He's going to get it turned around. Going through a rough patch too a little bit. You just know a caliber guy like that, the makeup that he has, he's going to come out of it. It's unique to step on the same rubber as him in the same game." -- Graveman

The A's will send right-hander Andrew Triggs (3-1, 4.41 ERA) to the mound for Saturday's 10:05 a.m. PT tilt at Yankee Stadium. Triggs faced the Yankees in the Bronx last year, taking the loss after allowing six runs (one earned) in six innings. New York will counter with right-hander Domingo German (0-1, 2.66).

Jane Lee has covered the A's for since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB and listen to her podcast.