TORONTO — Sonny Gray struck out eight in four innings Sunday but didn’t feel particularly good about his outing.
That’s because it was only four innings.
“Never happy about going four innings,” Gray said. “There were some positives to take from it, especially pitching with runners in scoring position. But obviously you want to go deeper into the game and not put so many guys on base.”
Gray, who worked out of a first-and-third, none-out jam in the first and a first-and-third, one-out jam in the third, allowed one run, seven hits and three walks in four innings-plus. He was helped by Aaron Judge, who nailed Russell Martin at the plate in the second inning with a one-hop throw to Austin Romine, who made a nice pickup and tag.
Gray was lifted after his 89th pitch, which resulted in Justin Smoak’s leadoff single in the fifth. That had Aaron Boone dipping into his bullpen about an inning earlier than he would have liked, which might have impacted how things went later in the game.
“I felt really good coming out of spring but just couldn’t find the zone enough tonight,” said Gray, who had a 1.98 ERA in four exhibition starts. “It definitely was a grind for sure.”
Adam Warren, who had to leave Saturday’s game after taking a ground smash off his right ankle, played catch Sunday morning. “Felt really good. Swelling’s down,” said Warren, who thought he could be available Monday.
First baseman Tyler Austin was back on the bench after hitting two long homers Saturday.
“I just liked Walk [Neil Walker] in there against [Marcus] Stroman. I wanted [Tyler] Wade in the field today with Sonny Gray putting the ball on the ground. Those are two of the considerations, among others,” Boone said.
He also said, “I’m not going to get caught up in one day’s performance, great or bad, in dictating the next day.
Walker went 1-for-4 with an RBI single.
Miguel Andujar, called up Sunday morning to replace injured outfielder Billy McKinney, started at DH and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.