LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sonny Gray pitched a masterful three-hitter for his second shutout in July, and the Oakland Athletics snapped their four-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.
Josh Reddick homered, doubled and singled for the last-place A’s, who traded Ben Zobrist, Scott Kazmir and closer Tyler Clippard in the past six days.
Oakland won anyway with another gem from Gray (11-4), who struck out nine while cruising through his fourth career shutout. The right-hander didn’t allow a runner to reach third base while improving to 8-1 with a 1.64 ERA on the road this season.
Howie Kendrick had two hits and Brett Anderson pitched seven innings of five-hit ball for the Dodgers, who opened a five-game homestand with their third straight loss.
Gray retired the first 11 batters and faced only three hitters over the minimum in his first career start against the Dodgers. He even got his first major league hit in the eighth inning, sneaking a single down the right field line.
Gray is a bright spot in Oakland’s dismal season, and his performance was exactly what manager Bob Melvin wants out of his team for the final two months. During a pregame meeting at Dodger Stadium after Zobrist was shipped to Kansas City, Melvin told the A’s they can’t give up despite the sell-off trades and their meager playoff hopes.
“I haven’t been through this before, having some guys taken away in the middle of the season in this fashion, but it’s baseball,” Melvin said. “We put ourselves in this position. It’s more of a punishment for (the current A’s). It got everybody’s attention.”
Anderson (5-6) looked sharp after a full week off to rest a mild Achilles tendon injury, but his teammates provided little help.
Billy Burns hit a leadoff single and eventually scored on Billy Butler’s groundout in the first inning for Oakland.
Gray didn’t even let the Dodgers get the ball into the outfield before Adrian Gonzalez’s two-out double in the fourth. Andre Ethier was caught stealing after drawing Gray’s only walk in the fifth, and Kendrick was stranded on second in the seventh after a leadoff single.
Athletics: Edward Mujica is taking over as the A’s closer after Clippard was traded to the Mets. Newly acquired right-hander Aaron Brooks will start Saturday.
Dodgers: Don Newcombe returned to Dodger Stadium three weeks after the 89-year-old Dodgers great became ill at the ballpark and was taken to a hospital.
Athletics: Jesse Chavez (5-10, 3.45 ERA) is second in the AL in losses despite the league’s eighth-lowest ERA.
Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.51 ERA) is 3-0 with a 0.27 ERA in July, striking out 45 and walking two.