Sonny Gray’s Sixth Win Amidst Trade Rumors

I went out to the stadium and waited for the gates to open.  I went over to the food trucks and bought a beef bowl.  I also bought a Creamsicle shake.  I looked through the team store and saw that Ryan Madson shirts were on clearance at 70 percent off.  I went to my seat.  Many of the fans thought that they might be seeing Sonny Gray pitching for the A’s for the last time at the Coliseum.  Tampa Bay was the opponent.  Gray gave up a walk to the first batter of the game, but the runner was thrown out trying to steal second base.  Gray also allowed a double, but he kept the Rays from scoring.  In the bottom of the inning, Yonder Alonso singled with two outs, and Khris Davis followed with a double, but Alonso was thrown out on a 9-4-2 play at home plate.  In the second inning with one out, Gray allowed a single on a play that was reviewed, but then Gray got five consecutive outs through the end of the third inning.  He ran into some trouble in the fourth inning, as he gave up three consecutive singles and a ground out, producing two runs for the Rays.  Gray got out of the inning with a 5-4-3 double play.  In the fifth inning, Gray allowed a walk and a single but got out of the inning with the score still 2-0.  The A’s did their biggest damage in the bottom of the inning. Bruce Maxwell walked.  Matt Chapman struck out, but Jaycob Brugman walked on four pitches.   Jed Lowrie doubled, but Bruce Maxwell hit a foul ball that the third baseman caught.  Matt Chapman singled, moving Lowrie to third base.  Rajai Davis hit a double, and it looked like Bruce Maxwell was thrown out at the plate, but the hit was ruled a ground ball double, and so Maxwell scored with Brugman going to third base.  Joyce hit a fly ball to center that brought in Brugman, with Rajai taking third base.  A wild pitch allowed Rajai to come home with the run that gave the A’s the lead at 3-2.  Semien singled and went to second base on another wild pitch, which became a big play, as Yonder Alonso singled, bringing in Semien with the run that made the score 4-2.  Khris Davis struck out to end the inning.  The shutdown inning wasn’t easy for Gray, as he got the first two batters of the sixth inning out, but then he gave up a double.  Marcus Semien again showed that he wasn’t a great shortstop, as he committed an error.  Gray responded with a strikeout, so he did keep the score at 4-2.  In the bottom of the sixth inning, Lowrie doubled.  Maxwell made an out, but Chapman singled, moving Lowrie to third base.  Brugman also singled, scoring Lowrie and moving Chapman to third base.  Rajai Davis hit a ground ball to the shortstop, and Maxwell was caught between third and home in a rundown that went 6-2-5-1 for the second out, but Brugman made it to third base, with Rajai at second base.  After a pitching change, Joyce couldn’t get the big two-out hit, as he lined out to center.  In the Big Head race, Dennis Eckersley grabbed Rollie Fingers, slowing him down and ensuring that Rickey Henderson would win again.  Semien committed another error.  Gray faced one more batter, and he got a strikeout.  Bob Melvin decided to bring in Daniel Coulombe.  Gray walked off the mound and to the dugout, and the fans applauded him, knowing that he might not be coming back with the team when they got out on this next road trip.  Coulombe allowed a single when the count was 0-3, but then he got a double play ground ball.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.”  In the bottom of the inning, Semien walked on a 4-3 pitch.  Yonder Alonso was hit on the backside with a pitch, prompting a pitching change.  Khris Davis hit a ball that the third baseman caught.  Lowrie single to load the bases, and Maxwell grounded out on a 3-1 play, but Semien got to home plate, making the score 6-2.  Chapman grounded out to end the inning.  We saw fans doing the Robot Dance, but they didn’t seem to understand how robots moved.  Coulombe faced one batter in the top of the eighth inning, and it went for a double on the first pitch.  Liam Hendriks came in and got three consecutive outs.  He had a fastball that reached 95 mph.  In the bottom of the inning, Brugman and Rajai Davis made outs, but then Joyce hit a home run to make the score 7-2.  The A’s had scored in four consecutive innings.  Semien made the third out.  Santiago Casilla came into the game, and he got some boos from the fans who remembered his blown save from Tuesday night.  He didn’t have to face a speedy pinch-runner to unnerve him, so he managed a clean inning to end the game.  Sonny Gray had won his sixth game of the season.  Yonder Alonso reached base four times in the game, with two singles, and walk, and a pitch that hit him.  Lowrie and Rajai Davis also had two hits in the game.  Semien and Brugman both had a single and a walk.  Maxwell had no hits, but had two walks.  Joyce, Khris Davs, and Chapman all had one hit, but Davis had the big one, a home run.  The game started at 12:38 with a game time temperature of 68 degrees, and it ended at 3:46.  The attendance was 17,019.  We wouldn’t get another home game until the 28th.  I made my way over to Best Buy, where I searched for a memory card for my phone.  I went home and did my laundry.  I heard the news about John McCain’s health.  Even though everyone seemed to characterize him as a fighter, I don’t see how at his age he can live for much longer.  I thought about my poor brother, who lived with cancer for about seven years.  I was reminded of Bernie Sanders’ advanced age.  I couldn’t see him getting through eight years of an incredibly stressful job without dropping dead.  I heard that the A’s had acquired Chris Carter.  Some of the people who died on July 20 include Bernhard Riemann (1866), Bruce Lee (1973), Frank Reynolds (1983), Nicolas Freeling (2003), and James Doohan (2005).  Today is a birthday for Carlos Santana (70), Kim Carnes (72), and Diana Rigg (79).

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