The Oakland Athletics are currently two games ahead of the second-place Texas Rangers in the American League West, but they just can’t seem to score runs for starting pitcher Sonny Gray, who was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Aug. 10.
Gray is 2-3 with a 2.77 ERA in six starts this season, with all but one of those outings resulting in a quality start. But Oakland has scored three or less runs in half of those games.
In all, the 23-year-old right-hander has 44 strikeouts against 11 walks in 43 innings, limiting opposing hitters to a .204 batting average, but if he’s to even his record, the Athletics will need to provide him with more run support in the second game of a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday in Minnesota.
It won’t be a walk in the park for Oakland, though, as the Twins are a game over .500 in September despite an overall mark of 63-80 that ranks near the bottom of the AL, having scored six or more runs in two-thirds of their games thus far this month.
If Minnesota is to keep it up, starter Mike Pelfrey will need to resemble the pitcher he was in his final start of August, when he pitched seven innings of one-run, six-hit ball, striking out seven and issuing no walks. After all, that start was much better than his first start of September, which saw him toss six innings of six-run (five earned) ball, although he again recorded seven strikeouts.
This game could go either way. It all depends on whether the Athletics’ offense shows up or Pelfrey shuts it down like he did the Rangers two starts ago.