- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 18, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Sonny Gray spent the past few days with Oakland pitching coach Curt Young, making subtle adjustments to his delivery.

Gray won’t reveal exactly what he and Young worked on. Suffice to say, the Athletics’ young staff ace is pleased with the results.

Brandon Moss hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the fifth inning, and Gray bounced back from two sub-par outings to lead Oakland over the Texas Rangers 4-2 Wednesday, giving the Athletics (44-28) the best record in the majors.

“Overall it was a pretty good outing,” said Gray, who had won just two of eight starts before going seven innings against Texas and striking out seven.

“I don’t think there really is a difference other than I was able to make pitches,” he said. “That’s probably it. People sometimes forget that baseball is a pretty hard game and there’s going to be some rough patches that you’re going to go through.”

Gray (7-3) bounced back nicely from his recent rough stretch. The right-hander needed only 31 pitches to get through the first three innings, then struck out Brad Snyder on a high 95 mph fastball to end the fourth with runners at second and third.

Gray also got help from left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, who made a leaping catch at the warning track to rob Adrian Beltre of extra bases two batters before Snyder struck out.

His lone mistake came in the fifth when Texas loaded the bases with two outs. Gray walked two and gave up an infield single before Shin-Soo Choo’s two-run single made it 2-2.

“It’s just balance for him,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “He knows his delivery (and) his mechanics pretty well, and Curt’s terrific at pointing out subtle things. There are a couple things he’s been working on.”

Cespedes and Josh Donaldson each had two hits for the A’s. Oakland has won four of five and is a season-high 16 games over .500.

Their record is one game better than cross-bay rival San Francisco.

“Anytime in the season that you can say you have the best record in baseball, it’s satisfying,” Melvin said. “But there’s a lot of baseball yet to be played. At least for the time being it feels good.”

Luke Gregerson pitched the eighth, and Sean Doolittle worked the ninth for his ninth save.

Nick Tepesch (2-3) went five innings for Texas.

Choo drove in both runs for the Rangers.

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