OAKLAND — As mid-July statements go, the Oakland Athletics delivered a powerful message to the Baltimore Orioles.
Sonny Gray struck out eight to win his fifth consecutive decision, and the major league-best A’s pounded the Orioles 10-2 on Sunday in the final regular-season meeting between the AL division leaders.
“I guess it says good things about it,” said A’s catcher John Jaso, who tripled, singled and had two RBIs. “If we face them down the line, we face them down the line. But it’s not something that we think about.”
The A’s (61-37) overpowered the AL East-leading Orioles (53-44) to take two of three at the Coliseum and finish 4-2 against Baltimore this year.
Oakland had 15 hits and chased starter Kevin Gausman (4-3) in the fifth before beating up Baltimore’s bullpen the rest of the way.
Gray (11-3) gave up two runs, one earned, two hits and two walks in 62/3 innings. The 24-year-old right-hander hasn’t lost since June 13 at the New York Yankees.
“As the game kind of went on and we were able to put some runs together, it was really big because then I could just take a deep breath and really start attacking the guys, and throwing my stuff up there and have them put it in play,” Gray said.
Oakland’s offense started fast and got contributions from all over.
Stephen Vogt had three hits and drove in a run. Josh Donaldson had two singles and two RBIs. Craig Gentry singled twice and had two RBIs.
Eric Sogard singled twice and drove in a run after starting the day in a 4-for-35 slump. Two-time reigning Home Run Derby champion Yoenis Cespedes singled and doubled for his first extra-base hit since June 25.