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A's name RHP Gray as Opening Day starter

The SportsXchange

The Oakland Athletics on Sunday named right-hander Sonny Gray as their Opening Day starter.

Gray allowed one unearned run in 5 2/3 innings during Friday's spring training game against the San Francisco Giants, striking out seven and walking one. The outing lowered his spring ERA to 4.02.

Gray, 24, emerged as a top pitcher last October, when he tossed eight shutout innings in a duel against Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. Gray was 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA during 12 regular-season games, 10 of them starts, last season.

"I'm sure it will be similar to a playoff game, and I'll kind of treat it the same way -- like it's another game," Gray said, per the San Francisco Chronicle. "For us, it's just the first of 162. But I'm sure the adrenaline will be flowing.

"You always look forward to your first start of the season. The fact it's Opening Day makes it even more special. ... Let's get this thing started."

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