OAKLAND — Sonny Gray struck out six pitching into the seventh in what might have been his final home start in Oakland if the club tries to deal him before the trade deadline, and the Athletics rallied in the fifth inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-2 on Wednesday. Matt Joyce hit a towering homer to the right-field seats in the eighth for Oakland. Rajai Davis doubled home Oakland's first run in the fifth then Joyce followed with a tying sacrifice fly before Davis scurried home with the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. Gray (6-4) won his third straight start and fourth in five. When speculation arose from the White Sox side before his Friday outing that the right-hander had been scratched because
OAKLAND — The only person in the A’s clubhouse who didn’t seem to feel bad for Chris Smith on Tuesday night was Chris Smith. The right-hander, making just his second start in a big league career that began in 2008, got robbed of his first victory in nine years when his bullpen couldn’t hold a ninth-inning lead in a 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay. But after talking to him, it was clear that his smile couldn’t have been bigger, his humor any more genuine and good-natured, if he had actually pocketed the ‘W’. “It’s like ‘Whoo! What’s going on here?’” Smith said. “This whole thing has just been an unbelievable ride and I don’t want it to end.” It’s easy to see why manager Bob Melvin sees value in his young
The scouts in attendance at Sonny Gray’s starts have obviously noticed his improved effectiveness as the trade deadline approaches, how much crisper his pitches have been. Gray, who might be making his final start as an Oakland Athletic in Wednesday’s matinee against the Tampa Bay Rays, pitched brilliantly in his last four starts, yielding a total of four earned runs and a .122 batting average while completing at least six innings each time. Coming on the heels of his worst season by far, it’s reasonable to ask which Sonny Gray a trade partner would be getting, and how much he’s really worth. Could he be following the path of Tim Lincecum as a smallish starter whose star faded in his late 20s?