Though the Oakland Athletics are mired in another rough road stretch, Sonny Gray has been quite good away from the Coliseum. He's also consistently shut down Albert Pujols.
Riding a 13-inning road scoreless stretch, the right-hander tries to help the A's avoid a season-high sixth consecutive defeat away from home Sunday against Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels.
After managing a season-low two hits during Saturday's 1-0 defeat, Oakland (25-39) has batted .216 and totaled 12 runs over its last five road contests. The A's, who last dropped six straight on the road in 2011, have lost at least four in a row away from home three times in 2015.
Despite those struggles, Oakland starters have a 2.05 ERA in the last three games.
The AL ERA leader, Gray (7-3, 1.74) is 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA in seven road starts while receiving an average of 7.0 runs of support. He's yielded six hits, one walk and no runs over those 13 innings to win his last two.
Gray returned home Tuesday and gave up two runs over six innings of a 2-1 defeat to Texas.
''If that's a bad game, then I'll take it any day,'' said manager Bob Melvin, whose team has lost six of eight. ''Every game he pitches, we're either in or we're winning it.''
Home or away, Gray has been awfully tough while posting a 1.64 ERA to win two of his last three against Los Angeles (32-30). Both victories have come while giving up three runs over 15 innings this season.
Pujols, 2 for 19 against Gray, has batted .373 with 10 home runs and 16 RBIs in his last 15 games. His first-inning shot Saturday was the difference for the Angels, winners of three straight and four of five.
''I probably threw too many fastballs in that sequence. That's on me,'' losing pitcher Kendall Graveman said about the homer to Pujols, the sixth player in Angels history to homer at least 10 times in a 15-game span and the first since Mo Vaughn in 2000.
While Gray's been strong on the road, Matt Shoemaker (4-4, 4.86) has yielded one run over 12 1-3 innings while not getting a decision in his last two home starts after going 0-3 with a 9.45 ERA in his first three. The right-hander's most recent outing came at Tampa on Tuesday when he gave up two runs in 6 1-3 innings of an 8-2 victory.
"Earlier in the season (it was) a little rough, but fixed my focus, more execution and just go from there," Shoemaker, 1-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his last three outings, told MLB's official website. "It's baseball, and I've got to go out there ... and be ready to go again."
He's 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA in two starts against the A's this season. Marcus Semien, who doubled Saturday, went 4 for 5 with two doubles and one home run against Shoemaker in those contests.
After closing out victories each of the last two nights, Huston Street has a 1.26 ERA while converting all 12 save chances against the A's.