OAKLAND — Sonny Gray was a little frustrated and Josh Reddick was feeling great. The combination helped turn things around.
Reddick and Stephen Vogt homered to back Gray’s solid effort, and the Oakland Athletics ended a four-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.
“I’ve been feeling great ever since we left here the first time,” Reddick said. “When you can get the lead at any point, especially the way we’ve been playing, it’s a good thing.”
Gray (2-1) pitched through trouble, lasting six innings to earn his first victory against the Royals in four starts, leaving the Boston Red Sox as the only AL team he has not yet beaten.
“You look at the way the Royals play and it’s hard to get deep into the game,” Gray said. “Every one of them make you work for everything. It was a frustrating game. I’d get two quick outs and then 15, 16 pitches later I’d finally get out of the inning.”
Gray, who needed 100 pitches to finish five, gave up two runs and seven hits, walking one and striking out six.
Reddick, who hit the ball hard in every at bat, erased the Royals’ early lead with a three-run shot in the bottom of the first off Chris Young (0-3), who failed to get through five innings for the second consecutive start.
Young gave up four runs and eight hits in four-plus innings. He walked two and struck out two.
“It’s not necessarily command,” Young said.
“I think it’s more of the life. I felt like the last few times my arm slot was a little bit high and I made the adjustment in the third inning and the results got better.”
INF Eric Sogard will have arthroscopic surgery performed on his left knee, an injury that has bothered him on and off for two years.
“I’m going to have to get a bone spur removed out of my tendon,” he said. “There’s loose bodies in there, so he’s going to go in and take care of that.”
Sogard dealt with it through spring training and then came up with a sore neck that landed him on the DL to open the season. While he was resting, the knee continued to hurt.
“It’s unfortunate it’s during the season, but I have to go through that and be out. It’s something I’ve been dealing with for a few years now. It’s been affecting me out there a little bit, mainly at the plate, being my back knee.”
RHP Henderson Alvarez (right shoulder injury) will throw a bullpen Sunday and, if he comes out of it OK, will go on a rehab assignment.