But Gray wasn't alone in having a rough first inning, as Boston starter Hector Velázquez looked very much like a pitcher making his major league debut.
The A's ace showcased devastating stuff at times Thursday while shaking off a tough first inning to beat the Boston Red Sox 8-3 in the first game back at the Coliseum following a 1-5 road trip. Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis both took him deep in the first inning, giving Oakland a 3-2 lead.
RHP Daniel Mengden (foot) allowed two runs in six innings and RHP John Axford (shoulder) pitched one scoreless innings in a rehab assignment for Triple-A Nashville. Despite a two-run first inning, he displayed plenty of life on his fastball throughout and had explosive downward movement on his breaking pitches to earn his first win of the season.
This one had potential to get away from him during a 31-pitch first inning.
The Red Sox got their first two runs in the first inning when Hanley Ramirez hit an RBI single and Chris Young hit a sacrifice fly to score Dustin Pedroia. The 28-year-old Velázquez, who spent the past seven seasons pitching in the Mexican League, allowed the first four batters to reached base.
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Staked to a 2-0 lead before taking the mound in his major league debut, Velazquez fell behind just four batters into the game when he allowed a two-run homer to Lowrie and a solo shot by Davis for Oakland's first back-to-back homers of the season.
The home runs kept coming in the fourth inning.
- Boston tied the game momentarily in the top of the fourth inning thanks to Mitch Moreland, who hit a home run to center field. He retired nine of the final 10 men he faced, striking out six of those before departing after 103 pitches. Adam Rosales and Rajai Davis both drove in runs off Ross.
Athletics: 1B Yonder Alonso sat out after being removed from the game Wednesday in Seattle with a sore left knee. "I think we're heading in the right direction".
With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 21-19 on the season. Ryon Healy started at first base Thursday and is likely to do so throughout the weekend against the Boston lefties.
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