Friday saw the the major leagues finally back in action after the extended, four-day, all-star break and the activity was much the same as prior to the mid-summer classic.
|Sonny Gray: 6 scoreless|
Gray did not go the distance, throwing exactly 100 pitches over six full innings of work. The 27-year-old right-hander issued one walk in the opening inning, and only got into a little trouble in the third, when he allowed the only two hits - both singles - the Indians would get off him.
With the score already 4-0 in favor of the A's, Gray took a seat and turned the ball over to the bullpen. Ryan Madsen, Sean Dolittle, and Santiago Casilla each tossed an inning in relief, allowing just two hits over the final three innings, fanning six while not allowing any walks.
The A's stand at 40-50, well out of the runaway race in the AL West. Cleveland remained in first place in the Central, 2 1/2 to the good over Minnesota, 10-5 losers at Houston.
Game two of the three-game series is slated for 6:00 pm PT, Saturday in Oakland.
|Gonzalez: 8 1/3 scoreless|
Apparently, the four-day all-star break didn't hurt, as the Nationals opened the second half with a 5-0 shutout at Cincinnati.
|Harper: 2 HR, 3 RBI|
On Friday, he had Bryce Harper to thank, as the all-star right fielder socked a pair of home runs (21, 22) scored three times and drove in three. Harper is tied with Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt with 68 RBI, third in the league behind Marcell Ozuna and Nolan Arenado, each with 70.
The Nationals retained their 9 1/2 game lead over Atlanta while the Reds dropped further behind in the NL Central, in last place, 10 1/2 games behind Milwaukee.
Game two of the four-game series is Saturday, 7:10 pm ET in Cincinnati.