A's turn to undefeated Gray in finale with Rangers

(SportsNetwork.com) - Right-hander Sonny Gray will try to remain unbeaten on the season Sunday afternoon when the Oakland Athletics conclude a three-game series with the Texas Rangers.

Off to a 3-0 beginning to his campaign, Gray won his second straight start -- both against the Los Angeles Angels -- with a 6-2 decision on Tuesday. He held the Angels to a pair of runs over eight innings, though his earned run average actually rose from 1.91 to 1.98. He struck out a total of 13 batters in 15 innings of the two victories.

The 25-year-old beat Texas in his season debut on April 6, holding the Rangers to only one hit and walking one over eight innings of an 8-0 decision. Gray moved to 5-2 in seven career starts versus the Rangers with a 1.74 ERA.

Right-hander Yovani Gallardo hopes to avoid a third straight losing start as he takes the mound today for the Rangers.

Gallardo has followed up a two-start win streak with back-to-back losses, falling 3-1 to Seattle on Monday. He yielded three runs over six innings, allowing only three hits but also walking three. Gallardo did strike out five, but fell to 2-3 with a 4.05 ERA on the year.

The 29-year-old lost to Oakland and Gray on April 6, charged with four runs over four innings. It was his second loss in as many career starts against the A's.

Texas evened this series on Saturday night thanks to an 8-7 victory, with Rougned Odor driving in the winning run with a bases-loaded single in the 10th inning.

After Shin-Soo Choo doubled to right field, both Robinson Chirinos and Carlos Peguero walked. R.J. Alvarez then replaced Ryan Cook on the mound and Odor's ground ball deflected off the glove of a diving Marcus Semien and into center field to plate Choo.

Josh Reddick's three-run homer capped a six-run seventh inning to give the A's a 7-3 advantage, but Oakland's bullpen failed to hold the lead and the club lost for the seventh time in nine games.

"It's disheartening," A's catcher Stephen Vogt said. "We've played a lot of good games, but our record doesn't show it."

Drew Pomeranz threw the first 5 1/3 innings for the A's, while Nick Martinez went the first six-plus frames for the Rangers.

Keone Kela pitched the top of the 10th for his first major league win as the Rangers snapped a four-game skid.

"It's another kick-start to the engine, and allowed everybody to kick in on their own," Kela said.

Kyle Blanks went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBI, and Choo belted a three- run homer.

These teams split a four-game set to start the year.