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Yankees pitcher owns up to embarrassing play: 'I probably would've booed me'

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Things haven’t been quite so sunny for Sonny Gray in the Big Apple.

Acquired by the Yankees at last year’s trade deadline, Gray was expected to fortify the Yankees’ rotation as the team’s fourth starter.

After a decent 2017 regular season and a poor 2017 postseason, things have gotten even worse for Gray this season.

Gray was shellacked by the Red Sox in Yankee Stadium on Saturday, failing to make it through the third inning. Gray allowed six earned runs and seven hits in just 2.1 innings as the Sox defeated the Yanks 11-0.

That performance left the Bronx crowd so restless that the biggest cheer of the game came when Yankees manager Aaron Boone emerged from the dugout to pull Gray from the mound.

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Gray was then serenaded with boos while walking to the dugout. After the game, Gray admitted he would have booed himself even louder if he had been sitting in the crowd.

“That was embarrassing for me and for everybody in here,” Gray said. “To play like we did [in Friday’s win] and to play like we’ve been playing and then to come out [Saturday] and kind of just spot them six runs in the first two innings, that’s just disappointing.

“If I was out there, I probably would’ve booed me louder,” Gray admitted. “I understand how important these games are and understand how important every game is, especially here with the Yankees. We expect to win.”

Should the Yankees demote Sonny Gray to the bullpen this season?

Gray now has a 5.44 ERA this season. In his 29 starts with the Yankees — including the postseason — he has yet to win back-to-back starts.

Gray has the third-worst ERA among American League starters, and the rival Red Sox have been particularly harsh to him. Since donning pinstripes last year, Gray has given up 18 runs in 17.1 innings pitched against Boston, producing an 0-4 record.

Saturday’s game wasn’t just an embarrassment for Gray, it was also a historic loss for the Yankees. They have played 1,090 games at home against Boston, and tied the record for worst shutout loss to the Red Sox.

Boone continues to express confidence in Gray for remaining in the rotation despite his struggles.

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“He has what it takes to pitch here and to pitch successfully,” Boone said. “We’ve seen enough good outings from him where he’s built some momentum. I know physically he’s in a good place as far as his stuff, and now we’ve just got to unlock it. And one good outing, he can hopefully get the ball rolling here as well.”

Gray will next take the mound on Friday as the Yankees visit the Blue Jays. He has a 3.52 ERA against the Jays in three starts this season, but has yet to pick up a decision.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
Location
Houston, Texas
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