(SportsNetwork.com) - Sonny Gray and the Oakland Athletics will try to extend the Detroit Tigers' longest losing streak of the season on Wednesday night in the continuation of a three-game set.
Gray is in the midst of an excellent campaign at 6-2 with a 1.82 earned run average through 11 starts. He has yielded two or fewer runs in nine of those.
Gray won a second straight start on Friday over the visiting New York Yankees, matching a season high with eight innings. The right-hander scattered a pair of runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five.
"You always go good when Sonny's on the mound," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "Any time you give him an early lead you feel like you're going to win the game."
Gray will face the Tigers for the second time in his career and did not get a decision in the first meeting, though he allowed four runs and eight hits over six frames.
Anibal Sanchez enters tonight's start winless in three straight outings (0-2) but off an encouraging loss.
Sanchez had given up seven runs, 15 hits and five homers over his previous two starts before facing the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. Though he dropped a 2-0 decision, Sanchez gave up just the two runs over seven innings while striking out nine. He did allow another homer, though, his 12th of the season after having allowed just 13 total over 51 appearances the previous two years.
The right-hander is 3-6 with a 5.75 ERA on the season and 1-1 lifetime versus Oakland with a 3.55 ERA in five starts.
The A's dealt the Tigers their season-high fifth straight setback on Tuesday night, rallying for a 5-3 win. All five runs for Oakland came in the seventh inning that featured a grand slam by Ben Zobrist.
The A's had been held scoreless by Alfredo Simon until Billy Burns singled in a run with the bases loaded during the tide-turning seventh. Zobrist then hammered the second pitch he saw from Angel Nesbitt over the wall in right to erase Oakland's 3-1 deficit and ultimately send the reeling Tigers to an eighth loss in 10 games.
"I didn't think it was going to clear, to be honest, when I hit it," Zobrist remarked.
Zobrist's blast made a winner out of Kendall Graveman after the rookie gave up three runs on eight hits over six innings. Simon was charged with four hard- luck runs over a 6 1/3-inning effort in which he surrendered just four hits.
Burns and Brett Lawrie each finished with two hits in Oakland's seventh victory in 10 games. Nick Castellanos went 2-for-3 with a two-run single for Detroit in defeat.
These two clubs combined to score just 10 runs over a three-game set in Oakland from May 25-27, with Detroit winning twice. The Tigers have won six of their past eight versus the A's overall.