CINCINNATI (AP) — Two wild pitches undid Sonny Gray’s exceptional performance, sending the Athletics to their season-high sixth loss in a row.
Adam Duvall doubled home the tying run in the seventh and scored on Gray’s second wild pitch of the inning, rallying the Cincinnati Reds to their first interleague victory of the season, 2-1 over Oakland on Friday night.
The Reds had dropped their first seven interleague games and didn’t manage a hit off Gray (3-6) through the first five innings. Gray, who made his first All-Star team last season but didn’t pitch in the game at Great American Ball Park, let a 1-0 lead slip away in the seventh.
Oakland has dropped the first six games of its trip.
“You look at that inning and that’s just how this road trip’s been for us,” Gray said. “That’s the game. That’s how it goes. Every single game comes down to a couple of pitches here or there.”
Brandon Phillips singled for Cincinnati’s second hit and advanced on a wild pitch. Duvall doubled for the tying run, advanced on Eugenio Suarez’s infield single, and scored on another errant pitch by Gray, who leads the majors with 11 wild pitches.
“I’ve got to catch those balls,” catcher Stephen Vogt said. “Sonny’s got late life on his fastball. Nobody knows that better than me. I’ve got to do a better job. Those pitches can’t get by me.”
Blake Wood (5-1) pitched two innings in relief of Anthony DeSclafani, who made his first start since returning from an oblique injury.
Vogt homered off DeSclafani for Oakland’s run.
Tony Cingrani gave up a hit in the ninth while earning his sixth save in 11 chances.
The A’s had won five straight games before the downturn.
“We’ve been so streaky, winning three, four, five in a row and then losing the same,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ve got to find out a way to play more consistently, That’s obviously been our biggest problem.”
The A’s visited for the first time since 2013. They are 10-7 all-time against the Reds in interleague play. The teams have met twice in the World Series, with Oakland winning in 1972 and Cincinnati in 1990.
In his second start since returning from a strained upper back muscle, Gray faced the minimum 15 batters through five innings and didn’t give up a hit until Tucker Barnhart singled with one out in the sixth.
Gray has lost his last five decisions, the longest slump of his career. He gave up five hits and one walk.
DeSclafani was picked to start the season opener, but a strained oblique sidelined him for more than two months. He gave up eight hits, three walks and hit a batter in six innings, but got two double plays to limit the damage. Also, Khris Davis was thrown out at the plate when he tried to score from third on Marcus Semien’s grounder in the sixth inning.
Jed Lowrie grounded into a double play ahead of Vogt’s homer in the third, which snapped the catcher’s 0-for-9 slump. It was the 102nd homer allowed by the Reds, the most in the majors.
OF Max Muncy was called up from Triple-A Nashville and started in right field. RHP Zach Neal was called up, and RHP Jesse Hahn was sent down.
Coco Crisp snapped an 0-for-16 slump. ... Phillips’ single in the seventh started the go-ahead rally and extended the National League’s longest current hitting streak to 13 games. It’s the longest hitting streak by a Red this season.
The A’s had two stalwarts back after each missed two games. Davis returned from tingling in his left hand, and Danny Valencia was back from a stomach illness.
Athletics: LHP Rich Hill, who went on the 15-day DL on Thursday with a strained groin, will rest for about a week before starting a rehab program.
Reds: CF Billy Hamilton went on the 7-day concussion list. He was hit in the head on Wednesday while sliding into third base and sat out a 3-2 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday.
Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden makes his major league debut. The 23-year-old was acquired from Houston as part of the deal for Scott Kazmir last July. He was a fourth-round draft pick in 2014.
Reds: RHP Dan Straily (3-2) makes his 11sth start of the season and the first of his career against Oakland.