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Top prospect Gray could make first start Saturday

CINCINNATI -- The A's have yet to announce a starter for the second game of a four-game set in Toronto on Saturday, but all signs point to top pitching prospect Sonny Gray getting the nod.

The team has yet to say as much, but that just so happens to be Gray's day to start for Triple-A Sacramento. The other obvious candidate, lefty Tommy Milone, is still scheduled to start for the River Cats on Thursday after being optioned over the weekend, according to manager Bob Melvin.

It would mark Gray's first start as a big leaguer after the 2011 first-round Draft pick got a small taste of the Majors in July by way of a pair of relief outings. He pitched four scoreless innings for the A's, giving up two hits with six strikeouts and one walk.

Gray, who has a 3.42 ERA at Triple-A this year, last pitched Saturday for Sacramento, allowing three runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out three in the outing and walked two.

By having Gray, or another arm, throw Saturday, the A's can give Sunday starter A.J. Griffin six days of rest. Jarrod Parker will start the opener Friday, with Dan Straily rounding out the series Monday.

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.
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