(AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Oakland Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray’s strategy seemed simple enough Monday night: avoid the manager so you won’t be taken out of the game.

“I put my head down and [Manager Bob Melvin] goes, ‘How are you feeling?’ I just yelled ‘Great!’ and kept walking,” Gray said. “Yeah, I wanted to go back out there.”

And why wouldn’t he? Gray was in complete command of the game, which featured Rangers all-star pitcher Yu Darvish on the other side of the field.

Source: @PitcherGifs

Gray faced the minimum three batters in six of his nine innings, struck out six and walked only one. He did give up three hits, but all were benign singles.

Source: Baseball Savant

“The first couple of hitters it looked like what he usually does,” Melvin said. “After that it was as well of a pitched game as I’ve seen in a while.”

Gray’s complete game without yielding an extra-base hit was MLB’s sixth of the season, with only Adam Wainwright and Andrew Cashner giving up fewer hits over the nine innings.

Date Player Tm Opp Rslt IP H SO
4/28/2014 Sonny Gray OAK TEX W 4-0 9 3 6
4/26/2014 Tanner Roark WSN SDP W 4-0 9 3 8
4/24/2014 Corey Kluber CLE KCR W 5-1 9 4 11
4/17/2014 Adam Wainwright STL WSN W 8-0 9 2 8
4/16/2014 Julio Teheran ATL PHI W 1-0 9 3 4
4/11/2014 Andrew Cashner SDP DET W 6-0 9 1 11

Gray improved to 4-1 and has posted a quality start (at least six innings allowing three or fewer earned runs) in all six of his starts this season.