A's top pitching prospect Sonny Gray, promoted from triple-A Sacramento earlier in the day, made his major league debut in the fifth inning of Oakland's 5-0 series finale loss at Pittsburgh Wednesday night.
The right-handed Gray, the No. 18 overall selection of the 2011 first-year player draft out of Vanderbilt, had never pitched in relief as a professional before starting the fifth with the A's already trailing by five runs. It was the first 1-2-3 inning for any A's pitcher -- starter Tommy Milone and relievers Pat Neshek and Jerry Blevins -- on the night.
In the sixth, Gray gave up a lead-off single to Jose Tabata before striking out Andrew McCutchen looking, getting Russell Martin to pop out to catcher Derek Norris and Pedro Alvarez to fly out to left.
In two innings, Gray faced seven batters, struck out three, allowed one hit and threw 25 pitches, 18 for strikes.
In 16 starts with the River Cats, Gray was is 8-5 with a 2.81 ERA in 102 1/3 innings, with 107 strikeouts, 34 walks and a 1.27 WHIP.