OAKLAND — Sonny Gray had nothing to show for two strong pitching performances against the Detroit Tigers during the 2013 playoffs. A year later, Oakland’s promising young right-hander is still searching for an answer to the American League powerhouse.
Gray was roughed up for four runs in six innings — the first time in 11 starts this season he’s allowed more than three — and was knocked out of the game by the time pinch-runner Rajai Davis scored on a fielder’s choice in the eighth to lift the Tigers to a 6-5 win Tuesday night.
“It was definitely a battle (Tuesday),” said Gray, who took an AL-low 1.99 ERA into the game. “I thought I was throwing some good pitches and they were putting good swings on the ball. They have a really, really good lineup and sometimes if you’re not spot-on, they’ll make it tough on you.”
The Central-leading Tigers did just that. They scored twice in the first inning then added another in the third on Miguel Cabrera’s eighth home run. Detroit tacked on a fourth run off Gray before Oakland came back to take a 5-4 lead.
The A’s bullpen couldn’t make it hold up.
Reliever Dan Otero gave up Torii Hunter’s game-tying home run in the seventh before Davis scored on Austin Jackson’s fielder’s choice groundout in the eighth to help Detroit end a three-game losing streak.