Gray steers Athletics to 4-1 win over Blue Jays
July 5, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
OAKLAND, California -- Oakland pitcher Sonny Gray bounced back from his worst start of the season to steer the major league-leading Athletics to a 4-1 home win over Toronto on Thursday.
The A's maintained a 3-1/2 game lead in the American League East division over the Los Angeles Angels, who won the opener of a four-game series against Houston.
There was a changing of the order in the National League West as the Los Angeles Dodgers took over top spot with a tight win at Colorado, moving above struggling San Francisco, which was beaten at home by St. Louis.
Oakland's Gray (8-3) restricted the Blue Jays to four hits over the first seven innings, and got some help from the field as the A's turned three double-plays.
The most important came in the eighth when Jose Reyes hit a fly to deep right field where Brandon Moss took the catch and made a strong throw to first base, beating Josh Thole who was scrambling to get back to the bag.
Stephen Vogt scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball in the second inning.
St. Louis' Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer to help the Cardinals win 7-2 at San Francisco.
Cards pitcher Carlos Martinez (2-3) earned only his second win as a starter, allowing one hit and one walk with six strikeouts over five innings. He also drove in a run.
The Giants have lost 17 of 22 to give up what was a very strong lead in the NL West.
They were replaced at the top of the division by the Dodgers, who won 3-2 at Colorado with Juan Uribe coming up with the go-ahead single in the top of the ninth inning.
Matt Kemp worked a leadoff walk off LaTroy Hawkins (2-2), went to second on a groundout and scored when Uribe singled under the glove of second baseman DJ LeMahieu. Uribe had half of the Dodgers' six hits for the game.
Oakland Athletics' Sonny Gray works against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning of a baseball game, in Oakland, California on Thursday, July 3. Oakland won 4-1. (AP)