The rookie right-hander, who has impressed in his brief MLB career, lasted through 3.1 inning and allowed six runs on eight hits while waking a pair and striking out three. Manager Bob Melvin said afterwards to Todd Karpovich of MLB.com that the starter was indeed hit around by Baltimore, but noted that he only got “dinked a little bit” early.
The 2011 first-round draft pick is also in good company when it comes to struggling in his fourth career start. Since the day he was drafted, Gray has been compared with former Oakland ace Tim Hudson, who is currently on the DL with the Atlanta Braves.
Back in 1999 when he was pitching for the Athletics, Hudson lost his first game in his fourth start of his career. The righty managed to get through six innings, but allowed five runs on five hits while walking five and striking out four. As broadcaster David Friedman tweeted, though, the parallel between Gray and Hudson actually extends through the first four starts for the diminutive righties:
Tim Hudson 1st 4 starts: 5IP-3ER, 7IP-1ER, 7IP-1ER, 6IP-5ER.
Sonny Gray 1st 4 starts: 6IP-2ER, 8IP-0ER, 7IP-2ER, 3 1/3IP-6ER. @susanslusser
— Dave Friedman (@friedman_dave) August 25, 2013
Gray is on turn to throw again on Friday when the Athletics return home to host the Tampa Bay Rays, who they are battling with for the top Wild Card spot. In his short career at the O.co Coliseum. Gray has allowed just two runs in 15 innings. Admittedly, that number came in starts against the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.
For Melvin, the rough outing at Camden Yards can actually serve as an educational experience. The skipper pointed out that it was inevitable that Gray would get hit around a little eventually. Melvin added: “He’ll probably be better for it next time around.”