Bob Melvin, left, pays a visit to the mound with pitcher Sonny Gray and catcher Stephen Vogt, right, in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday. The Twins won 4-0. (Jim Mone/AP)

Bob Melvin, left, pays a visit to the mound with pitcher Sonny Gray and catcher Stephen Vogt, right, in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday. The Twins won 4-0. (Jim Mone/AP)

A’s waste Gray start, shut out by Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS — Sonny Gray had his good stuff on Wednesday at Target Field, finding ways to wiggle out of jams while pitching six solid innings for the Oakland Athletics.

Even that wasn’t enough to stop a personal losing streak that has stretched on for more than two months.

Ervin Santana struck out eight and walked none in a two-hitter that led the Minnesota Twins over the Oakland Athletics 4-0.

Gray gave up one run, six hits and four walks in six innings, losing his seventh straight decision, the longest active skid in the American League. Billy Butler’s two-out double in the fifth and Stephen Vogt’s leadoff single in the eighth Oakland’s lone hits.

“Probably the best mix of pitches we’ve seen in a while,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. “He threw quite a few changeups, curveball, slider, moving fastballs, some cutters, really a good array of pitches. Unfortunately, they just fouled a lot of them off.”

And Santana was even better.

Santana pitched his eighth shutout and 15th complete game, helping the Twins take two of three from the A’s. Joe Mauer had three hits and an RBI.

The bleary-eyed clubs were back at it on Wednesday less than 12 hours after finishing a rain-delayed game that started at 9:52 p.m.

Both teams appeared to be swinging heavy bats, and Gray stranded 12 runners, holding the Twins to 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

He gave up an RBI-double to Mauer in the fifth, but held the Twins at bay for the rest of his start.

“Mentally, I was just trying to stay aggressive,” said Gray, who has not won since April 22. “There were times to challenge guys and times not to. The times he told me to go challenge guys I was able to do that a little bit more.”

Santana frustrated Oakland’s hitters all afternoon. Josh Reddick slammed his bat in anger after popping out to the catcher in the fourth inning and Khris Davis did the same after a strikeout in the seventh.

The A’s didn’t record a hit until Butler’s double in the fifth.

“We had some good at-bats off him at times and we had some non-competitive at-bats,” Vogt said. “When a pitcher has his stuff and you don’t have consistent at-bats against him it’s going to be hard to win. He was very, very good today.”

While mired in the losing streak, Gray walked out of the ballpark on Wednesday in his final start before the All-Star break feeling a sense of momentum that the A’s hope can carry over into the second half of the season.

“He’s shown signs of it all year,” Vogt said. “It’s not like he’s been awful all year. It’s been kind of a big inning has gotten him. I think that was kind of a turning point today for him, in my opinion.”Bob Melvinjoe mauerMinnesota TwinsMLBOakland A'sOakland AthleticsSonny GrayStephen Vogt

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott leaves the scene of an officer-involved shooting at Brannan Street and Jack London Alley in the South Park area on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Chief Scott issues rare apology to man shot by SF police

Officer says he ‘did not intend for his firearm to go off’

Despite the pandemic, San Francisco has ended the fiscal year with a budget surplus. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Better than expected tax revenues leave city with $157.3M surplus for this year

As the fiscal year nears an end and Mayor London Breed prepares… Continue reading

Passengers board a BART train bound for the San Francisco Airport at Powell Street station. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
BART bumps up service restoration to August 30, offers fare discounts

Rail agency breaks pandemic ridership records, prepares to welcome more passengers

Ashley and Michelle Monterrosa hold a photo of their brother Sean Monterrosa, who was killed by a Vallejo police officer early Tuesday morning, as they are comforted at a memorial rally at the 24th Street Mission BART plaza on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
State Department of Justice to investigate Sean Monterrosa shooting by Vallejo police

Attorney General Rob Bonta steps in after Solano County DA declines case

Gov. Gavin Newsom, show here speaking at the City College of San Francisco mass vaccination site in April, faces a recall election due to anger on the right over his handling of the pandemic, among other issues. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Why Gavin Newsom’s popularity could work against him in the recall election

Top pollster: ‘We’re not seeing the Democrats engaged in this election. And that may be a problem…’

Most Read