Backed by A's bats, Gray stifles Yanks
OAKLAND -- A four-run third inning backed A's ace Sonny Gray, who did his part by completing eight solid innings in a 6-2 victory over the Yankees at the Coliseum on Friday night, securing Oakland its second straight win.
Gray fired four no-hit innings, before Yankees catcher Brian McCann hit his fourth home run in as many games to lead off the fifth. Shortstop Didi Gregorius doubled off Gray and scored in the sixth, but that's all the right-hander would allow, while maintaining the American League's best ERA, at 1.82.
"Sonny's just so special, and what he did tonight was very impressive and exactly what we needed to continue on this path," said first baseman Stephen Vogt. "We've been playing such good baseball, and to have a start like that from your ace is huge."
Yankees lefty Chris Capuano was on the hook for four runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Vogt collected two of those hits, including a two-run double to highlight the pivotal four-run fourth. Third baseman Brett Lawrie -- who in the top of the eighth made a sensational defensive play -- notched his second home run of the series, a two-run shot in the eighth off lefty Jacob Lindgren.
"With Sonny on the other side, you knew runs were going to be at a premium," Capuano said. "He pitched great."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sonny side up: Gray continued his early-season dominance with eight superb innings, limiting the Yankees to just four hits with two walks and five strikeouts to earn his sixth win. The right-hander has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of his 11 starts and figures to be a slam dunk as an All-Star this year. More >
"In a season that's been kind of tough to get wins, he gives you a chance every time he's on the mound," said catcher Josh Phegley.
Eleven is enough: Chase Headley's defensive struggles at third base continued as he allowed a Ben Zobrist grounder to shoot through his legs for a run-scoring error, helping to open the door for Oakland's four-run third. Headley has 11 errors and has acknowledged that he needs to "clean it up" in the field; his season high for errors is 13, set in 2010 with the Padres. More >
"It's just a play that I feel like I have to make, regardless of whether it takes a hop or not," Headley said. "You've got to make a play. Cap made a big pitch right there, I catch that and turn a double play, we may be out of there with one run. Obviously disappointing and another play that I probably should have made."
Double trouble: An A's offense that has typically struggled against left-handed pitching this season broke out for four runs against Capuano in the third inning, notching three doubles from Billy Burns, Billy Butler and Vogt along the way. With the win, Oakland improved to 3-10 when the opponent starts a left-hander.
Going deep: McCann became the first Yankees catcher to homer in four consecutive games since Mike Stanley in 1993, and the first Yankees catcher to post RBIs in seven straight games (solely as a catcher) since Yogi Berra in 1956, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Of McCann's eight homers, just two have come on the road.
"I'm making small adjustments here and there," McCann said. "Honestly, I feel like I've been swinging the bat well all year. Now I'm kind of getting more lift in my swing and the balls are leaving the ballpark."
"I mean, he's really, really good. He's got four pitches and he sits at 95 mph, he sinks it, he four-seams it, he's got a really good curveball, so he's got everything you want. He's a No. 1 and he showed it tonight. He's really good. We watched him in the playoffs coming out of college and you knew he was going to be really good." -- McCann, on Gray
Yankees: Nathan Eovaldi has the ball on Saturday as the Yankees play the third game of a four-game set with the Athletics at 10:05 p.m. ET. Spotted an 11-run lead through the first two frames, Eovaldi picked up his fourth win in New York's 14-1 win over the Royals on Monday.
Athletics: Right-hander Jesse Hahn, who tossed his first career complete game Monday, starts against the Yankees for the first time Saturday at 7:05 p.m. PT. Hahn is 2-4 with a 3.69 ERA and has held opponents to a .195 batting average at home.
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