OAKLAND, Calif. -- Less than eight months after finishing third in voting for the AL Cy Young award, Athletics ace Sonny Gray is mired in the longest slump of his career.There is little indication that things are going to get better any time soon, either.Gray lost his sixth consecutive decision after blowing an early three-run lead and the Athletics offense was held to one hit over the final seven innings of a 7-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.This hasnt been his best year and hell figure it out and hell get better as the year goes on, As manager Bob Melvin said. Theres always going to be a year thats as not good as other years. So far this is the one for him. Hes been good for us.Gray was coming off two fairly decent starts before blowing up against Pittsburgh in the Pirates first trip to the Oakland Coliseum since June 27, 2010.Gray (3-7) gave up seven runs, hit a batter and threw two wild pitches in six innings while losing his sixth consecutive decision. The right-hander, third in the 2015 AL Cy Young voting, is winless since April 22.Once I got to two outs, I just wasnt able to get them out, Gray said. There were times, like in the sixth where I got two quick outs, I have to be able to shut that inning down and get back out there for the seventh . and not hit a guy and walk another. It just escalated from there.Jody Mercer homered and had an RBI single to help Pittsburgh rally from three runs down to beat. Matt Joyce added two hits, Josh Harrison drove in two runs while Andrew McCutcheon doubled and scored on a wild pitch to help the Pirates to their first win in their history at the Coliseum and just their second in 13 games between the two franchises.They did it by taking advantage of another shaky outing by Gray (3-7).We just stayed the course, Harrison said. We just put together some good at-bats as a team and it wasnt easy on him.Marcus Semien hit his 17th home run of the season for Oakland.Pirates starter Jeff Locke (8-5) also struggled early but retired the final nine batters he faced to win his third straight. He gave up three runs over five innings with three walks and three strikeouts.Three relievers combined to retire the final 12 batters and complete the four-hitter.Mercer homered in the third and added an RBI single as part of a two-run fifth.Harrisons two-out, two-run double in the sixth put the Pirates up 7-3.ALL-STAR PUSHSemiens home run was his fifth in nine games, padding his AL-leading total among shortstops. Melvin thinks Semiens offensive surge should be good enough to earn the young shortstop a trip to the All-Star game in San Diego later this month. Hopefully that merits some consideration going forward, Melvin said. You cant ignore the numbers. Not only is he doing it all offensively, he doing defensively too. He just maturing.LINEUP SHUFFLEJed Lowrie had decent results while batting leadoff for the first time this season. He drew a walk from Locke in the first before Semien homered on a 3-2 pitch. Oaklands second baseman added an RBI double in the second to make it 3-0.TRAINERS ROOMAthletics: Infielder Tyler Ladendorf was recalled from Triple-A Nashville before the game. Left-hander Dillion Overton, the losing pitcher against San Francisco on Thursday, was optioned down. Overton went 1-1 with an 11.42 ERA in two starts.UP NEXTPirates: Right-hander Chad Kuhl (1-0) pitches against Oakland on Saturday in his second career start in the majors after beating Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers in his debut.Athletics: Rich Hill is expected to come off the disabled list to start against Pittsburgh. The left-hander had been out since May 30 with a strained groin. Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Authentic . 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Stitched NHL Jerseys Authentic . Then the Pacers gave Oladipo and his Orlando teammates the cold shoulder. Paul Georges buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter spurred a 21-4 run, finally sending Indiana past the Magic 97-87 in a tougher-than-expected opening night matchup. DETROIT -- Danny Duffys season has taken quite a turn for the worse over the past month.Duffy allowed six runs and was chased in the fourth inning Friday night, and the Kansas City Royals lost 8-3 to the Detroit Tigers. Detroit remained a half-game ahead of Baltimore for the second wild card in the American League.Duffy had won 10 straight decisions before allowing seven runs in a loss at Boston on Aug. 27. Hes won only once since.Duffy (12-3) allowed seven hits in 3 2/3 innings Friday. He walked four and struck out four.I cost my team a chance to win that game, Duffy said. I just didnt have it. There are going to be days like this.Michael Fulmer pitched seven sharp innings for the Tigers in his first win in over a month. Fulmer (11-7) allowed a run and eight hits, striking out nine with no walks.Justin Upton, Victor Martinez and Cameron Maybin went deep for the Tigers, who won their fifth game in a row.I think theres a little bit of a sense of urgency now, Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. This is our last homestand. This is the last chance at home to try and do something in the standings, and were playing against two teams ... in Kansas City and Cleveland, we know very well. Maybe I was the only one that felt it, but I felt there was more energy.The Tigers jumped ahead right away against Duffy. The Royals made two errors in the first inning, and Uptons RBI double made it 2-0.They are fighting for their life and doing everything they have to do to be a playoff team, Duffy said. You could tell there was that kind of hunger there.Martinez and Upton each hit solo shots in the third, and Maybinss two-run homer in the fourth made it 6-0.ddddddddddddUpton has 27 homers on the season, including 14 in his last 29 games.Kansas City has lost nine of its last 12.DISPUTED CHALLENGEKansas Citys only run off Fulmer came after replay overturned the second out of an apparent double play, which would have ended the top of the sixth. Ausmus complained to the umpires, saying the Royals had waited too long before challenging.I said I wanted to protest, which, even going into it, when I said it, I knew instant replay wasnt protestable, Ausmus said.After the review revived the rally, Paulo Orlando hit an RBI single.ON THE BORDERLINEFulmer is the ALs ERA leader at 2.95 -- his 155 2/3 innings are enough to qualify at this point. Hell need to throw 6 1/3 more to qualify for the title at the end of the season.The Tigers have taken steps to limit his workload, and this latest start was a positive sign.I thought Fulmer was really on top of his game, Royals manager Ned Yost said. Really good fastball, down in the zone, really good slider, really good changeup.TRAINERS ROOMRoyals: Kansas City C Salvador Perez sat out with what Yost described as a very minor knee issue.UP NEXTRoyals: Kansas City sends RHP Yordano Ventura (11-11) to the mound for Saturdays game at Detroit. Ventura is coming off a complete game against the Chicago White Sox on Monday.Tigers: Detroit starts LHP Daniel Norris (3-2) in the middle game of this series.---Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '