CLEVELAND — Sonny Gray entered his start against Cleveland with a 2-0 record and a 0.64 ERA against the Indians.
He allowed seven runs and eight hits in 31/3 innings as the Indians beat the Oakland Athletics 8-0 to complete a three-game sweep.
“When he started this game today, I thought he had the same stuff to when he pitched a shutout here last time,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
Corey Kluber limited Oakland to five hits in seven innings, and Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer.
Gray (5-10) dropped to 2-9 in his past 16 starts and has a 5.84 ERA this season.
“When you watch him, it just doesn’t look like the ERA adds up to what he’s pitching,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.
Gray had started the season 3-1.
“It’s very frustrating,” he said. “I compare this year to previous years and stuff-wise everything is very similar. It’s just this year’s not going in the right direction.”
Kluber (10-8) struck out seven and walked two, retiring Max Muncy and Ryon Healy to strand runners on second and third in the seventh. He is 4-1 in his last seven starts.
“You try to put up as many zeroes as you can and the offense put up eight runs, so it’s a good day,” Kluber said.
Three relievers completed the six-hitter.
Following a 36-minute rain delay at the start, Cleveland went ahead in a five-run third that included Napoli’s homer, Kipnis’ two-run single and Francisco Lindor’s sacrifice fly.
Napoli’s team-leading 24th home run this season was his 1,000th career hit. Lonnie Chisenhall, Tyler Naquin and Abraham Almonte each had two hits.
Cleveland maintained a 41/2-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central and manager Terry Francona knows the Indians need production throughout lineup to stay on top.
“We need to be that kind of team where we’re getting contributions and not giving pitchers innings off,” he said.
Roberto Perez was 1 for 23 this season when Gray walked him in the third, loading the bases. Perez singled in a run in the fourth.
Francona had no comment about catcher Jonathan Lucroy’s decision to veto the trade with the Milwaukee Brewers that would have given the Indians a much-needed boost behind the plate.
“I don’t know the specifics of why he chose to use that no-trade, but he had that in his contract, so that’s his right,” Kluber said. “As far as we’re concerned, we’ll move forward with the guys we do have here.”
A’s left-hander Rich Hill (middle finger blister) could start Friday against the Chicago Cubs. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, retroactive to July 20.
A’s left-hander Sean Manaea, who’s scheduled to start Tuesday’s series opener in Anaheim against the Angeles, hasn’t walked a batter in 262/3 innings over his past four appearances.
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