Gray could miss start with recurrence of toe injury

Gray could miss start with recurrence of toe injury

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rockies right-handed pitcher Jon Gray left a 3-1 victory over the Giants after three scoreless innings Thursday night because he suffered an aggravation of a left big toe injury that originally occurred in Spring Training.

Lefty Chris Rusin took over and held the Giants to one run in 3 1/3 innings, and he might have to enter the rotation for Gray, who is not sure if he can make his next start.

Manager Bud Black said it's "a little too early to tell," but the injury will be evaluated Friday morning.

Gray leaves the game with injury

The injury originally occurred March 19 against the Athletics in a Cactus League game. Gray left his next start, March 24 against the Giants, in the third inning because the Rockies' dugout saw him favoring it. Gray insisted the toe hasn't been a factor during his first two regular-season starts even though his performance was mixed.

"I just think rest and stay off of it," Gray said. "I did that before and it was feeling great before. I'm just going to do that again, but even better."

At the end of the second inning, Gray felt pain flare upon landing after he leaped to spear Eduardo Nunez's chopper and threw to first. Gray struck out as the leadoff hitter in the top of the third, pitched another inning, then left after walking Joe Panik to open the fourth.

Gray's leaping grab on chopper

"I knew at the time I did it," Gray said. "It sucks to have a setback like that. But I'm just going to stay off of it and get it healthy."

Gray said the strikeout was a blessing, since his thought during the at-bat was, "Don't run, no matter what."

The toe is on Gray's landing foot, so the Rockies want to be careful with him so he doesn't alter his pitching mechanics.

It occurred on a night when Gray was efficient, with 34 pitches, including the walk to start the fourth.

"It was one of my better-feeling days for a start, so it's a little more disappointing," Gray said. "But it's [his effectiveness] not going anywhere. It'll be there when I get back."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.