OAKLAND -- Billy Burns and Billy Butler homered to complement Sonny Gray's six capable innings, helping the Oakland A's outlast the San Francisco Giants, 5-4, in a clash of cross-bay Interleague rivals Friday night. The outcome mathematically eliminated the Giants from Wild Card contention.
Gray (14-7) limited San Francisco to two runs and five hits in six innings after allowing 12 runs and 16 hits in 8 1/3 innings spanning his previous two outings. Gray outdid Giants starter Mike Leake (10-10), who yielded four runs and six hits in six innings.
"I wasn't too consistent hitting my spots," Leake said. "I 'yanked' some pitches that they took advantage of."
The Giants, who out-hit Oakland, 10-9, kept the score close largely due to Matt Duffy's two-run homer in the first inning and Jarrett Parker's booming clout in the seventh, projected by Statcast™ to land 454 feet away from home. But in the eighth, with the bases loaded, two outs and a run in, Sean Doolittle coaxed a foul popup from Mac Williamson, who singled in each of his previous two at-bats while starting his first Major League game.
"It was a battle," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "That whole inning was a battle for Doolittle. … It was a pretty significant inning for him."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED No help needed:Alejandro De Aza walked to lead off the game and Kelby Tomlinson followed with a ground ball to first baseman Mark Canha, who turned and fired to second to get the lead runner. Shortstop Marcus Semien attempted to turn two, but first base umpire Bill Miller called Tomlinson safe. Though the Giants opted not to challenge, the replay showed the ball beat Tomlinson to the bag. Duffy hit a two-run homer two pitches later.
Power packed: Don't let Parker's slender build fool you. Three of the rookie's six hits have been home runs, including the mammoth drive that he planted in an outfield suite to christen the seventh inning against A's reliever Ryan Dull. More >
Gray rebounds: After serving up a two-run home run to Duffy in the first inning, the A's right-hander tossed five shutout innings the rest of the way. Gray, who held a 7.97 ERA in September entering Friday, returned to form while striking out seven Giants.
"He was a little upset with himself for leaving a ball up in the first inning," Melvin said of Gray. "Sometimes the first inning is an inning where the starter is trying to find his rhythm and release point. But after that, [he was] really good."
Two bad: The Giants launched two-out rallies in the fifth and sixth innings which concluded the way most two-out rallies end: Unsuccessfully. De Aza finished the fifth by striking out with runners on second and third; Marlon Byrd fanned to strand men on second and third an inning later. However, Byrd atoned with a two-out RBI single in the eighth.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With his home run in the third inning, Burns passed Jose Canseco to move into sixth all-time on Oakland's franchise rookie hit list with 145. He also tied Mark McGwire for third on the franchise's rookie multi-hit game leaderboard when he smacked a double in the fifth for his 45th multiple-hit game of the season. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Giants:Tim Hudson, who has won his last three decisions, will try to sustain his luck while improving San Francisco's fortunes against Oakland in Saturday's 1:05 p.m. rematch. The Giants have not captured a series in Oakland since winning two of three games from June 22-24, 2012.
Athletics:Barry Zito makes his first Major League start since the end of the 2013 season. The veteran left-hander will likely be on a pitch count given that he's thrown one inning in the MLB in the last two seasons. In his only outing this year, Zito allowed two runs on two hits and a walk.