Gray expected to return to mound Wednesday

Gray expected to return to mound Wednesday

OAKLAND -- Food poisoning prevented A's ace Sonny Gray from making his third consecutive Opening Day start on Monday, but the right-hander will be back on the mound to make his season debut Wednesday for the third game of a four-game set against the White Sox.

"Obviously if he's not pitching, it was fairly severe," manager Bob Melvin said. "I talked to him and, like you would expect, he wanted to do everything he could to pitch, but it just doesn't make any sense to do that. He lost a lot of fluids last night and even into early this morning, so the prudent thing to do is to not pitch him today and hopefully he'll be ready to pitch tomorrow."

It will be right-hander Chris Bassitt throwing against his former team Tuesday, though, allowing Gray an additional day of rest. Lefty Rich Hill pitched in Gray's place Monday vs. the White Sox, making the first Opening Day start of his 12-year career.

Hill allowed four runs (two earned) over 2 2/3 innings in a 4-3 loss.

Gray's bout with food poisoning isn't a first; the right-hander was hospitalized for several days last season while battling salmonella. His hospital stay proved much shorter this time, spanning just enough hours to get three IV bags in him.

A's head trainer Nick Paparesta was by Gray's side and said he drove the pitcher home around 1 p.m. PT. Gray has since managed to keep down fluids.

All the while, Gray expected to pitch despite being bedridden for much of the day. He turned up at the Coliseum during the evening and played catch, getting the green light for Wednesday.

"Let's be honest, Sonny wasn't very happy in the hospital when I told him he wasn't pitching today," Paparesta said. "It was difficult, because it's hard to tell Sonny Gray that he's not going to start on Opening Day. Sonny wanted to pitch. He probably still wants to pitch. He probably would tell you he could pitch today."

Jane Lee is a reporter for Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.