Sonny Gray clinches the second AL Wild Card for the Athletics

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Sonny Gray was efficient in throwing a shutout against the Rangers on Sunday afternoon, helping the Athletics finally clinch the second AL Wild Card after two tumultuous final months. Gray needed only 103 pitches, scattering six hits with five strikeouts and no walks. The Athletics’ offense mustered two second-inning runs on a Josh Reddick RBI triple followed by a Stephen Vogt RBI single, then added two more insurance runs in the top of the ninth, which was plenty for Gray.

Gray ends his first full season in the majors with terrific numbers: 14-10 with a 3.08 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and a 183/74 K/BB ratio.

Had the Athletics lost, the Mariners could have forced a tie-breaker on Monday with a win against the Angels. The Mariners are currently leading the Angels 4-0 in the fifth inning as of this writing, but it doesn’t matter now.

The Royals will host the Athletics on Tuesday at 8:07 PM ET. James Shields is slated to start for the Royals opposite Jon Lester for the Athletics. Should be a good one. The winner of the AL Wild Card game moves on to face the Angels in the ALDS, which starts on Thursday.

Dale Murphy’s son hit in eye by rubber bullet during protest

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Atlanta Braves legend Dale Murphy took to Twitter last night and talked about his son, who was injured while taking part in a protest in Denver.

Murphy said his son nearly lost his eye after he was hit in the face by a rubber bullet while peacefully marching. He later shared a photo (see below). “Luckily, his eye was saved due to a kind stranger that was handing out goggles to protestors shortly before the shooting and another kind stranger that drove him to the ER,” Murphy said.

Murphy had far more to say about the protests, however, than how it related to his son:

“As terrible as this experience has been, we know that it’s practically nothing compared to the systemic racism and violence against Black life that he was protesting in the first place. Black communities across America have been terrorized for centuries by excessive police force . . . If you’re a beneficiary of systemic racism, then you will not be able to dismantle it at no cost to yourself. You will have to put yourself at risk. It might not always result in being physically attacked, but it will require you to make yourself vulnerable.”