Gray fights through illness to pitch into 8th

Righty catches bug, but posts second straight strong start to open season

Gray fights through illness to pitch into 8th

OAKLAND -- Sonny Gray caught the bug that's swarming around the A's clubhouse but managed to push it aside for 7 1/3 innings of impressive work in a 5-4 loss to the Mariners on Saturday.

Never mind that he worked eight innings just five days prior, too.

"To have to go out in the eighth again today, it's tough to do, when you're in a game like that after pitching as long as he did in the game before," said manager Bob Melvin. "You couldn't ask for more than what he gave us."

"There's something going around," Gray said, "but once the game starts and the adrenaline takes over, you just go from there."

Gray retired each of his first six batters in order, before surrendering his first run of the season -- a leadoff home run to Dustin Ackley, who sent a 1-2 slider to right field, snapping the right-hander's 20-inning scoreless streak dating back to Sept. 23 of last year.

Then Gray was off and going again, keeping the Mariners away from the board during the remainder of his stay on the mound. He walked one and struck out four, allowing six hits in all.

"It was definitely one of those games that was going to be a grind," Gray said. "I knew that warming up in the bullpen, but I knew after that solo homer that if I could keep them right there and give us a chance to get back in it, eventually we were going to break through. We did that in the seventh, just unfortunately couldn't hold them off."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.