A's rely on Gray in Seattle
(SportsNetwork.com) - Sonny Gray goes after his second win of the season Saturday when the Oakland Athletics resume their three-game set with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Gray wasn't at his best on Sunday, but still managed to beat Seattle, as he held the Mariners to three runs (1 earned) and six hits in six innings to improve to 1-0 to go along with a 0.75 ERA. He retired the final seven batters he faced and 10 of the last 11
"He's a battler," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "For a young guy, that's something you don't see often. It's easy to kind of throw in the towel and say it's not your day."
Gray, who had tossed six scoreless innings in a no-decision against Cleveland in his first start, is a perfect 2-0 in three starts versus the Mariners with a 1.50 ERA.
Seattle will oppose him with righty Erasmo Ramirez, who lost to Gray and the A's last Sunday and is 1-1 with a 5.75 ERA on the year. Ramirez struggled in that one, allowing five runs and seven hits in just four innings.
"I was fighting trying to throw strikes," Ramirez said. "My strength is putting the ball in play, just throwing the ball in the strike zone and making the hitter swing the bat. But today, I don't know. I didn't feel it. I didn't feel like the strike-thrower I am."
Ramirez has faced the A's five times (4 starts) and is 0-3 against them with a 5.23 ERA.
Seattle can only hope Ramirez delivers the way Felix Hernandez did in the opener. Hernandez struck out 11 batters over seven-plus innings and the Mariners got homers from Brad Miller and Mike Zunino in a 6-4 win.
Hernandez (3-0), who gave up four hits and was charged with two runs, has fanned 30 over his first three starts. He also became the first Mariners pitcher to record three wins in the team's first nine games of a season.
Dustin Ackley had three hits and scored twice, while Robinson Cano drove in a run for Seattle, which lost two of three in Oakland last weekend.
"I think the offense has always been a question in Seattle, how many runs we could put up," said Ackley. "Early on, we've proven that we can put some runs on the board and with the guys we've got on the mound, we're going to have a good chance to win a lot of games."
The A's scored all their runs in the eighth inning, but went 1-for-13 with men in scoring position and had a four-game win streak broken.
Tommy Milone (0-1) surrendered 10 hits and five runs -- three earned -- over five-plus frames. The southpaw also had seven strikeouts.
"We didn't play very well early in the game," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "Tommy pitched way better than his line would suggest."
Seattle was 11-8 versus the A's last season.
04/12 09:49:26 ET