Sonny Gray's brilliant beginning to Cardinals tenure continues with 6 shutout innings vs. A's

Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Baseball

OAKLAND, Calif. — Back where his winning began, Sonny Gray’s belated but no less impressive start as a Cardinal continued.

There’s no ballpark in the majors where Gray has pitched more than the expiring Coliseum of Oakland. In his 63rd start at the ballpark, the former Athletics top prospect picked up where he left off in his first start for the Cardinals.

He’s still yet to give up a run in his new uniform.

Gray pitched six shutout innings to run his streak to 11 consecutive without a run to begin his Cardinals career. That gave the Cardinals plenty of time to sit on their one run in the first inning before widening that lead toward a 3-1 victory late Monday night against the Athletics at Oakland Coliseum. Nolan Arenado continued his road surge with two hits in his first two at-bats and an RBI single to begin the Cardinals’ scoring. Willson Contreras added two doubles to go with an RBI and a run scored.

On Jackie Robinson Day throughout the majors, Gray had a blue wool cap with a white No. 42 stitched to its front. He wore a Cardinals jersey with a blue No. 42 on its back, just as everyone in uniform did throughout the majors. A grand total of 5,508 fans gathered to see Gray’s return to the place he first called home in the majors and, if Athletics ownership has its way, no team will call home by 2025.

Gray’s first win came at the Coliseum on Aug. 15, 2013, when he pitched eight shutout innings and struck out nine Houston Astros.


He had that kind of stuff working Monday, too.

A pitch count was going to get to him before the A’s did.

Gray (2-0) struck out six and has yet to walk a batter, let alone allow a run, as a Cardinal. He landed six different pitches in his six scoreless innings. He got a swing and miss on five of them — all but the curveball. He got a called strike on five of them, too. Only the change-up didn’t freeze a batter. Gray was effective and so efficient that during the Cardinals’ prolonged top of the sixth inning, he popped on down to the bullpen to get in some throws and keep his arm lively.

In the fourth inning, the A’s strung two singles together to create their only true threat against Gray. He ended the inning with a 2-2 sweeper to get Seth Brown chasing at a pitch out of the strike zone. In the sixth inning, Gray sandwiched two strikeouts around a double. The right-hander’s 11 consecutive shutout innings match the streak Jordan Montgomery had to begin his Cardinals career. Lefty Austin Gomber has the most recent longer streak to start a Cardinals career, beginning his rookie season as a starter in 2020 with 14⅔ scoreless.


swipe to next page

©2024 Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus