OAKLAND — On a night Sonny Gray was facing a potential future employer, the Oakland Athletics right-hander served up five runs in the first inning of the club’s eventual 8-4 loss.
Three days after a report in the Boston Globe indicated that the A’s and the Houston Astros have a “mutual interest” in executing a trade, that five-run first-inning barrage was all the damage that Gray would allow on Tuesday at the Coliseum.
Pitching in front of a crowd of 15,362 — plus Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow who was watching on from a suite — Gray scattered seven hits and four walks across his five frames while punching out five guests.
Khris Davis immediately cut into the deficit in the bottom of the first, hammering an RBI double — the first of his pair of two-base hits.
In the third, Chad Pinder sent a solo shot off the suites that sit atop the bleachers in left-center field. The rookie’s ninth home run went an estimated 448 feet, according to MLB.com.
Ryon Healy added a sacrifice fly in the fifth and Jaycob Brugman added an RBI single in the seventh, but the A’s were never able to pull even.
Carlos Correa provided the Astros with a couple of crucial insurance runs in the eighth, tagging Liam Hendriks for a two-run, two-out single to push the lead from 5-4 to 7-4.
Michael Brady, who was promoted from Triple-A on Saturday, made his debut against Houston. Carlos Beltran, the very first batter he faced he faced, introduced him to the big leagues by bombing a solo home run over the wall in right field.
Pair of righties could return to mound shortly
Injured right-handers Kendall Graveman and Ryan Dull could both be back on the mound next week, according to manager Bob Melvin.
Graveman (strained right shoulder) felt good after throwing long toss out to 100 feet on Monday afternoon. Meanwhile Dull (strained right knee) was running sprints on the outfield grass before Tuesday night’s game.