That's perfectly fine with the A's rookie pitcher, especially if he goes on to have the kind of success Hudson has enjoyed throughout his 15-year career.
Gray looks to build on an outstanding performance and lead Oakland to its fifth win in six games Tuesday night against the visiting Seattle Mariners .
Brandon Moss helped the A's (71-53) remain one-half game behind Texas in the AL West with a walk-off home run in Monday's 2-1 victory. Moss has homered in consecutive games versus the Mariners (57-67) with four in his last eight against them."That's a strong man," manager Bob Melvin said. "He gets into one and there's not a park around he can't hit it out of."
Following Jarrod Parker 's first career complete game in the series opener, the A's hope to get another solid effort from a rotation that has a 1.33 ERA over the last six games.
They'll give the ball to the 23-year-old Gray (1-1, 1.00 ERA), who says people have compared him to Hudson since he was in high school. Hudson, out for the season for Atlanta with a broken ankle, went 92-39 while helping the A's reach the playoffs four times from 1999-2004.
"If you compare me to Tim Hudson , he's one of my favorite pitchers, one of the greatest pitchers," said Gray, a right-hander with a similar slight build.
Since making a pair of relief appearances in July, Gray has given up four runs - two earned - and struck out 14 over 14 innings in two starts. He fanned nine and allowed four hits over eight innings in a 5-0 victory over Houston on Thursday.
Gray, however, could be monitored a little more closely after throwing 118 pitches."It was good for (Melvin) to have the confidence in me to leave me out there," said Gray, who threw 94 pitches in his first big league start Aug. 10.
He appears to have an opportunity to continue his early success against a Seattle team that has averaged 2.7 runs and batted .218 while dropping four of six.
The top three in the batting order - Brad Miller (3 for 20), Nick Franklin (6 for 59) and Kyle Seager (4 for 32) - are among the slumping Mariners. Slugger Michael Morse could be out again after missing the past two games with a sore wrist.
Seattle will attempt to turn things around offensively for Joe Saunders (10-12, 4.86), who is 1-4 with a 7.77 ERA in his last five starts, allowing five home runs and 11 walks in 24 1-3 innings during that span.
He lasted 4 1-3 innings for the second consecutive outing Thursday, yielding five runs and seven hits in a 7-1 loss at Tampa Bay.
Saunders, though, is 15-6 with a 3.36 ERA in 23 career starts versus Oakland. He seeks his third straight win against them this season after allowing two runs over 13 1-3 innings in his last two meetings.
|July 26, 2013||Mike Zunino||15-Day DL||Fractured left hamate bone|
|July 11, 2013||Nick Franklin||Day-to-Day||Left game - knee soreness|
|July 11, 2013||Endy Chavez||Day-to-Day||Left game - groin tightness|
|June 29, 2013||Dustin Ackley||Day-to-Day||Left game - thumb|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Right hamstring strain|
|August 14, 2013||Bartolo Colon||15-Day DL||Left groin strain|
|August 11, 2013||Coco Crisp||Day-to-Day||Left wrist|
|July 25, 2013||John Jaso||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|July 20, 2013||Yoenis Cespedes||Day-to-Day||Sore left wrist|
|June 29, 2013||Jarrod Parker||Day-to-Day||Left game - right hamstring cramp|
|June 20, 2013||Derek Norris||Day-to-Day||Left game - groin injury|
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Nick Franklin broke out of a slump and then had to leave the game early. He's hoping it's not an omen.
Franklin homered and drove in three runs and the Seattle Mariners rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the Oakland Athletics 7-4 on Tuesday night.
"It's been a grind," said Franklin, who hit his first home run in nearly a month and had seven hits in his previous 63 at bats. "I just went back to my old approach and worked through it, hoping to get better."
He'll likely have to wait a few days before he gets into the lineup because of a left knee laceration suffered when he beat a throw to the plate during the decisive eighth.
"I went back to the dugout and somebody thought I was in shock," Franklin said. "I was ready to go. I asked somebody to get me a new pair of pants."
He averted his eyes while the team doctor put stitches in his knee that could keep him out for up to a week.
Mariners interim manager Robby Thompson said it looked like he caught Derek Norris ' cleat.
"I want to say it was five stitches," Thompson said. "He had a nice little deep gash in his left knee. He wanted to stay in, just wanted new pants. It was necessary to take care of that right away."
Norris also left the game and X-rays revealed a fractured left toe.
"It's been tough for our catchers here lately," A's Josh Donaldson said. "Dino has struggled with his back thing and now he fractures his toe. I don't know, we'll see how it plays out."
A's catcher John Jaso has been on the disabled list since July 25 with a concussion.
Brad Miller and Kendrys Morales also drove in runs for the Mariners, who won for just the third time in 53 games when trailing after seven innings.
Donaldson and Nate Freiman both homered for the A's, who dropped 1 1/2 games behind the AL West-leading Texas Rangers . Norris also drove in a run for the A's.
Sean Doolittle (4-5) allowed hits to all four batters he faced in the eighth.
"I wasn't walking guys but I was leaving stuff over the plate," said Doolittle, a converted first baseman. "We made a mess of things. It's not the right time of year to have an inning like that."
Brandon Maurer (4-7) pitched a scoreless seventh for the victory.
Danny Farquhar earned his eighth save in 11 chances with a scoreless ninth.
A's rookie Sonny Gray threw seven solid innings, giving up two runs and two hits. He walked two and struck out seven.
Mariners starter Joe Saunders went six innings, giving up four runs and 10 hits. He struck out two and walked three.
"I was just trying to stay confident," Saunders said. "Then we got some big double plays and clutch hits."
The Mariners scored five times in the eighth, getting RBIs from Miller, Franklin and Morales and scoring two runs on wild pitches.
The A's used three pitchers, who needed 53 pitches, to get through the eighth. Doolittle has allowed six runs over his past four appearances, a span of 2 2-3 innings.
"We don't see that often. That surprises everybody," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "But you're going to have some games you don't get it done and that's what happened. They had some good at bats, strung some hits together and it happened pretty quickly."
The A's scored all their runs within the first five batters of the game.
Jed Lowrie led off with a triple and scored on Norris' single. Donaldson followed with his 18th home run. After Yoenis Cespedes grounded out, Nate Freiman hit a solo shot.
Franklin hit a two-run home run in the third to bring Seattle within 4-2.
Gray took care of the rest, retiring 13 of the final 14 batters he faced. He's thrown at least six innings in all three of his starts.
Gray had a 13-inning scoreless streak snapped when Franklin homered.
Saunders gave up half of his hits in the first inning, settling in to keep Seattle within striking distance. He got double plays in three successive innings to keep the A's off the scoreboard.
NOTES: A's OF Coco Crisp (sore left wrist) was available off the bench, but A's manager Bob Melvin said he didn't want him to get more than one at-bat right-handed. He's scheduled to play Wednesday. ... A's LHP Brett Anderson is expected to throw about 65 pitches in his rehab start Thursday in Stockton. Melvin hinted it could be his last rehab, though he would not commit either way. ... Mariners interim manager Robby Thompson said he plans to talk with manager Eric Wedge , who plans to be at Friday's game in Seattle, after batting practice to develop a game plan. ... Mariners RHP Tom Wilhelmsen is expected to rejoin the team in September. He was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on Aug. 6.