Instant Replay: Gray goes seven strong, A's beat Giants 6-1

Instant Replay: Gray goes seven strong, A's beat Giants 6-1
July 8, 2014, 9:00 pm
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Nick Punto is congratulated by Yoenis Cespedes after scoring a run in the third inning on Tuesday night. (AP)

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – Sonny Gray did his part to finish off one stingy homestand for A’s pitchers.

He stymied the Giants over seven innings on Tuesday to pace a 6-1 over the reeling Giants. That capped a 6-0 homestand, the 11th perfect homestand of six more games in Oakland history.

It feels a little misleading to refer to Tuesday as the end of the homestand, given that the A’s simply cross the Bay Bridge the next two days to face San Francisco two more times at AT&T Park. Nonetheless, they put a period on six days of dominant pitching in front of the home fans.

Oakland allowed a total of just five runs in six games, and the starters were historically good. They set an Oakland record with their sixth consecutive game of six-plus innings and one run or fewer allowed.

The A’s have won six in a row and 17 of their past 23, and they increased their lead to 4½ games over the Los Angeles Angels.

Starting pitching report
The last two starts have seen Gray (9-3) return to his early-season dominance. He allowed just one run over seven innings, struck out eight and walked just one. Over his past two starts, the right-hander has surrendered just two runs with 13 strikeouts over 14 innings.

He faced his biggest bout of trouble in the second, when the Giants put runners on the corners with one out. But Gray got Joe Panik swinging on a curve and then whiffed Brandon Crawford with a change-up. He recorded six of his first seven outs via strikeout.

Bullpen report
Luke Gregerson and Ryan Cook finished it out, and the A’s have outscored the Giants 11-1 over the first two games of this four-game set.

At the plate
The A’s sent nine men to the plate during a four-run third against Bumgarner (9-7), and the rally summed up this series thus far in a nutshell. The A’s knocked out five hits. Some were hit hard, like Nick Punto’s double down the left-field line and Coco Crisp’s line single to center that brought home another run. Others were bloopers that somehow found safe landing, the kind of breaks a team makes for itself when it’s on a roll. The Giants didn’t help themselves with a throwing error from left fielder Tyler Colvin and another missed cutoff man, which epitomized their struggles over the past two nights.

In the field
The A’s played an errorless ballgame.

Attendance
A second consecutive sellout of 36,067.

Up next
The Bay Bridge Series switches to AT&T Park on Wednesday as right-hander Jason Hammel makes his A’s debut. Matt Cain (1-7, 4.27) goes for the Giants in the 7:15 p.m. contest.

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