Gray, who was in competition for a rotation spot this spring, took the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits and one walk in four relief innings. Gray, who entered the game in the fifth inning, allowed one home run and struck out two.
“I think that can be misleading,” Rockies starter Eddie Butler said of Gray's performance, per The Denver Post. “Coming into a game like that, when you are used to starting, can really throw you off.”
Gray, one of the organizations top pitching prospects, posted a 5.93 ERA and 11:2 K:BB ratio in 13 2/3 innings this spring. He'll likely make his major-league debut during the 2015 season after going 10-5 with a 3.91 ERA and 113:41 K:BB ratio in 124 1/3 innings with Double-A Tulsa last season.
Gray allowed seven runs -- six earned -- in just two-thirds of an inning Saturday against the Cubs and reported a groin strain after that outing. He got back on track Thursday, allowing three runs on three hits with two walks while striking out four in four innings against the Diamondbacks.
"This is the best I've felt all spring," Gray said, per the Denver Post. "I got over it today. My problem is not attacking the zone no matter what the situation is. You have to be the aggressor no matter what."
Though he is still in camp, Gray is likely off the Opening Day radar, per the Post.
"I’m just a little bit sore from everything, from playing and from lifting," Gray said. "It’s just a little bit of soreness in my groin. I’ll be fine. There will be some treatment."
Gray surrendered seven runs (six earned) in just two-thirds of an inning Saturday. However, he believes he's ready to make his major-league debut in regular-season play.
"If I pitch the way I can, I’m definitely ready, but there are still things I have to learn," Gray said. "It’s far from perfection. There are obviously going to be thing I pick up as I go, but there is a lot of stuff I need to work on as well."
Gray said that he anticipates making his next start.
Gray, who's ERA is now 5.93 this spring, is happy it happened now instead of during the regular season, according to the Denver Post.
"I would rather have a bad game the first outing, but it can't always be that way," Gray said. "This was unfortunate, but it's all about how you respond. I've responded well in the past, and I think I will be able to again."
Manager Walt Weiss still doesn't put all the blame on Gray for the struggles.
"We made it tough on him, and I think he made it tough on himself with a couple of bunts back to him," Weiss said. "We didn’t play well behind him. We looked up and he was 40 pitches in, and you don't want that in the first inning. So we got him out of there."
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