OAKLAND -- Put Sonny Gray in a pitchers' duel, and the A's feel great about their chances.Gray was in the thick of one against the Angels' Nick Tropeano on Monday night, allowing only two hits as he headed into the sixth inning with a scoreless game.Then a crushing sequence with
OAKLAND -- Put Sonny Gray in a pitchers' duel, and the A's feel great about their chances.
Gray was in the thick of one against the Angels' Nick Tropeano on Monday night, allowing only two hits as he headed into the sixth inning with a scoreless game.
Then a crushing sequence with one out: Double. RBI single. And finally, a two-run monster homer by Mike Trout on the first pitch, a sinker, as the A's fell to the Angels, 4-1
"My stuff was really good," said Gray, who dropped to 1-1. "Three pitches didn't go our way and they capitalized big time."
Gray allowed three runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out six and walking three.
The Angels "just got good swings," Stephen Vogt said. "I mean, they did all their damage off him in three pitches. They weren't terrible pitches. They had three good pieces of hitting in a row. I thought he had great stuff tonight. It's unfortunate they were able to get three runs."
The three runs were about average for Gray against the Angels. He's 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA in his career.
It was the third time Gray has given up a homer to Trout, though.
"He's tough," Trout said of Gray. "It's a battle each and every pitch. It's just that one pitch you get, you can't miss it. It's a battle each and every time you face him. … He was throwing a lot of fastballs, just working in and out. You get a pitch to hit, you can't miss it, especially against him. He can throw all his pitches for strikes. If you miss that one pitch, you put yourself in a hole."
In a blink of an eye, the sixth inning cost the A's too much. Trout will do that.
"Trout was the dagger for us," Gray said. "We couldn't come back."
Added Vogt: "Trout's tough no matter what the situation is. I don't think there's a list of guys ahead of him of who you don't want up there. But Sonny's had some pretty good success off him, but he got him tonight."
Willie Bans is a contributor for MLB.com.