MESA, Ariz. –- Sonny Gray got up to 93 pitches in a minor league intrasquad game Thursday, and the A’s ace said he feels he’s ramping up nicely for his Opening Night start April 4 against the White Sox.
Gray gave up three runs over 6 2/3 innings against hitters likely to start with Triple-A Nashville. But the main goal was accomplished in getting him up and down seven times from the bench to the mound.
“My fastball felt good,” Gray said. “My slider was good today, especially with two strikes. The curve ball felt better."
The A’s sent Gray over to minor league camp because they wanted to make sure he got up over 90 pitches in his second-to-last start of the spring. His last tune-up will come Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs.
“He gave up three runs, but when I was there, the ball was on the ground,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “I think we accomplished what wanted to accomplish.”
Gray was in sharper form than his previous start, when he allowed five runs against Cincinnati.
“I felt physically strong the whole day today,” he said. “Last time I got a little tired toward the end. … It’s a lot cooler this week, which is nice. But it’s good to pitch in the heat. You gotta build your endurance up.”