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A's send impressive Gray back to Triple-A

ANAHEIM -- The A's optioned 23-year-old right-hander Sonny Gray to Triple-A Sacramento after Friday night's 4-1 loss to the Angels in order to make roster space for Dan Straily, their starter on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.

Gray has not allowed a run in four Major League innings. He made his second big league appearance on Friday and was just as impressive as he was in his debut, going two scoreless innings against the Angels. He allowed one hit and a walk, striking out three.

In his debut against the Pirates before the All-Star break, Gray gave up one hit in two scoreless innings, striking out three.

"There's no reason to have him pitching out of the bullpen now," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Gray, the team's first-round pick (No. 18 overall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Vanderbilt. "He's going to be a factor, whether he's in the rotation or the bullpen.

"Now he's going down knowing, 'I can get people out there [in the Major Leagues].'"

A's catcher John Jaso sees a bright future for Gray.

"I think I caught him once in Spring Training," Jaso said. "He's got great life on his pitches."

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for
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