Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The last time Sonny Gray faced the Texas Rangers, he flirted with a no-hitter on Opening Day.
Throwing against them for a second time this season, the Oakland Athletics ace battled control problems on the way to a career-high seven walks.
The result was the same, of course -- another win for Gray against the team he's beaten more than any other in his career.
Gray overcame his control problems to pile up a season-high 10 strikeouts in 6 2/3 shutout innings Sunday, leading the A's to a 7-1 victory over the Rangers in the finale of a three-game series.
Gray (4-0) gave up just two hits and trimmed his ERA to 1.67 in six starts this season.
"He finds a way to use what he has on a particular day," Oakland manager said of Gray. "He's worked himself into being a true number one (starter)."
He continued his career dominance of the Rangers, especially in their park, where is now 4-0 in four starts. He improved to 6-2 in eight career games against Texas, including the win on April 6, when the only hit he gave up was Ryan Rua's single leading off the eighth inning.
The offense provided plenty of cushion for the right-hander on Sunday, with Stephen Vogt cracking two homers and driving in a career-high four runs and Josh Reddick adding a two-run blast as the A's finished with two wins in the series.
They knocked around right-hander Yovani Gallardo (2-4) for four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings.
The Rangers, who have dropped eight of their last 10, scored their only run on Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly after they loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth inning.
They stranded 14 men on base, many of them against Gray, who allowed seven runners over the first four innings but continually pitched out of trouble, including a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth.
"When you face a guy like that, you know it's going to be a battle," said Rangers manager Jeff Banister. "You have to capitalize on your opportunities."
The A's took the lead in the top of the fifth after Eric Sogard led off with a single, went to second on a groundout and scored on Elvis Andrus's throwing error.
Gray finally had a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth and Vogt led off the sixth with a homer on a low curveball he looped over the right-field wall.
After Gray stranded runners at first and second in the bottom of the sixth, Vogt stroked a sinker over the right-field wall in the seventh for a 5-0 lead. It came after Alex Claudio replaced Gallardo with two runners on and two outs.
Vogt got his second career two-homer game just weeks after his first on April 17 against Kansas City.
Gray issued his sixth and seventh walks in the bottom of the seventh and was replaced by Dan Otero, who got the last out. Reddick hit a towering homer in the ninth.
Gallardo lost the Opening Day start against Gray ... Oakland recalled pitcher Chad Smith from Nashville and optioned fellow right-hander Ryan Cook to the Triple-A team ... The A's continue a 10-game road trip Monday with the opener of a four-game series against Minnesota ... The Rangers are in Houston on Monday to start a seven-game road trip.