Gray didn't factor into the decision Sunday in the Dodgers' 3-2 win over the Rockies after giving up two runs on three hits and four walks while striking out six across four innings. Making his first start for the Dodgers after previously excelling as a primary pitcher out of the bullpen July 20 in his big-league debut, Gray didn't meet expectations for those who streamed him with the hope he would scoop up an easy win against a Rockies offense that typically struggles on the road. While the punchout total was nice and was backed by 19 swings and misses, Gray struggled to consistently find the zone, tossing just 47 of his 79 pitches for strikes. Elias Diaz also took Gray deep to left field in the second inning, a discouraging development after the right-hander served up three long balls in his prior outing. Gray should get at least one more expended appearance with the big club next weekend in Arizona, but manager Dave Roberts hasn't disclosed whether the rookie will be deployed as a primary pitcher or a traditional starter.
Gray will start Sunday's contest against the Rockies, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports. It had been unclear what Gray's role would be going forward, but Wednesday's announcement resolves that. The rookie gets the starting nod after entering Tuesday's game following opener Darien Nunez and allowing four runs in four innings while striking out seven.
Gray hurled four innings against the Giants on Tuesday, allowing four runs on four hits and one walk while striking out seven. He did not factor in the decision. The right-hander entered the game for his major-league debut in the third inning following opener Darien Nunez. Gray put up an uneven first impression, allowing three long balls but notching 15 swinging strikes and seven punchouts in just four frames. His stuff certainly lived up to the hype as the Dodgers' top pitching prospect, though he'll need to do a better job of keeping the ball in the park to find prolonged success. Gray has a chance to stick with the big club given the current thinness of the Dodgers' rotation, though it remains to be seen if he'll continue following an opener or move into a traditional starting role. His next appearance could come Sunday at home against Colorado.
Gray is expected to be promoted to the major-league team ahead of Tuesday's game against San Francisco, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports. The Dodgers don't yet know what role Gray will play in Tuesday's matchup, as it will depend on the bullpen situation following Monday's game. Either way, Gray appears in line to take the mound Tuesday, either as a starter or as a long reliever. The right-hander has posted a 2.87 ERA with 22 punchouts over 15.2 innings at Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2021.
Gray continued to get stretched out during his start with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday, as he allowed one hit across four scoreless innings. He fanned four and did not walk a batter while tossing 53 pitches. The Dodgers said earlier in the week that Gray would have to get stretched out to pitch around five innings and/or 75 pitches before he's considered an option to join the big-league rotation. Saturday's performance marks a big step toward achieving that milestone, as the right-hander now figures to require at most one more outing in Triple-A to get his arm where the Dodgers want it. Gray's presence could be needed in the majors at some point in the near future with Clayton Kershaw (forearm) and Trevor Bauer (not injury related) currently sidelined.
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