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Athletics, rookie Gray falters before Baltimore
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BALTIMORE (AP) — The Oakland Athletics can’t seem to mount any momentum in their bid to return to the postseason for a second straight season.

Rookie Sonny Gray was hit hard in his fourth major league start, and the Athletics lost to the Baltimore Orioles 10-3 Sunday.

The defeat, which came on the heels of a victory Saturday, was especially agonizing because outfielder Josh Reddick hurt his right wrist.

In his first three starts with Oakland, Gray (1-2) allowed a total of four earned runs and 10 hits over 21 innings. In this one, he didn’t make it out of the fourth inning.

The 2011 first-round draft pick was vying to become the first major leaguer since Wayne Simpson in 1970 to begin his career with four consecutive starts of six innings while permitting four hits or fewer. That pursuit ended in the second, when the right-hander gave up three hits and fell behind 5-1.

He allowed six runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings.

“It was OK. I felt good,” Gray said. “My stuff’s been better, but I just didn’t make all the pitches that I needed to. They weren’t really hitting the ball that hard, but they were finding holes. It wasn’t our day and it started with me in the first inning.”

Reddick hurt his wrist while swinging at a pitch. He left the game, and could be headed to the disabled list.

“It’s hard to tell right now. I’m not going to assume that that’s the case,” Reddick said. “But, we’ll see. It’s maybe 50-50 at this point.”

Josh Donaldson homered for the Athletics, who lost two of three to Baltimore. Oakland is 16-18 since the All-Star break, and although the A’s are clinging to the second and final wild-card spot, their lead over Baltimore has been slashed to two games.

“They’re a good team and we’re a good team as well,” Gray said. “We just didn’t play like we’re capable of.”

Oakland had gone 105 straight games since April 25 without allowing 10 runs. The last team to do it? Baltimore.

Chris Davis had two hits and collected his 118th RBI, and J.J. Hardy, Nick Markakis and Nate McLouth homered for the Orioles.

Baltimore right-hander Scott Feldman (4-3) gave up one run in five innings.

“It wasn’t the prettiest outing,” he said. “It was a battle from the get-go.”

Baltimore got contributions from almost everyone in the lineup. Hardy had three hits, including his 23rd home run. Manny Machado hit two sacrifice flies and Brian Roberts scored twice and drove in a run.

Although Davis did not add to his major league-leading home run total of 46, he raised his batting average to .304. His 118 RBIs are 33 more than his previous career high.

Ten of Feldman’s first 12 pitches were out of the strike zone. He walked two in the first inning and yielded an RBI single to Alberto Callaspo.

Baltimore responded in the bottom half. Successive singles by Machado, Davis and Adam Jones produced a run, and Matt Wieters followed with a sacrifice fly.

The Orioles made it 5-1 in the second. Roberts hit an RBI single, Machado delivered a run-scoring flyout and Davis foiled a shift to the right side by lining an RBI single through the infield and into left field.

A walk, a double by McLouth and another sacrifice fly by Machado made it 6-1 in the fourth and ended Gray’s afternoon. His ERA jumped from 1.44 to 3.18.

“I don’t think anybody goes through their career without getting hit some,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He’ll probably be better for it next time.”

Hardy hit a solo shot in the sixth and Donaldson connected with a man on in the eighth.

Markakis and McLouth homered in the bottom of the eighth. Markakis’ third-inning double ended a run of 126 at-bats without an extra-base hit.

NOTES: The Athletics head to Detroit, where they start a four-game series Monday night against the AL Central leaders. Baltimore gets Monday off before opening an important three-game set against AL East-leading Boston at Fenway Park. ... Melvin left Oakland OF Yoenis Cespedes out of Sunday’s starting lineup to give the struggling slugger an “off day mentally just as much as physically.” Cespedes was 0 for 9 in the first two games of the series. . Orioles RHP Jason Hammel (flexor strain) threw around 60 pitches on the side Sunday and will begin his rehabilitation assignment Thursday with Triple-A Bowie. ... Baltimore finished 21-12 against AL West, including 5-2 against Oakland.