By Ashley Dunkak

When Oakland’s starting pitcher Sonny Gray looked far less impressive in Game 5 than he did in Game 2, it seemed that plenty of factors could have played a role.

Maybe the earlier performance tired Gray out. Maybe the veteran Tigers hitters just figured him out. Maybe the moment was just to big for him, season on the line, trying to save an A’s team that has endured so much postseason strife.

Another reason surfaced Friday that might explain a lot.

In Game 2, Gray shut out the Tigers. allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out nine through eight innings.

In Game 5, Gray made it through just five innings. He faced two more batters in the sixth but left after not being able to get an out. Overall Gray allowed six hits and four walks, all of which led to three runs. Gray also gave up a homer to Detroit super slugger Miguel Cabrera. It hardly constituted a bad performance, but it was not nearly as sharp as the previous one.

After matching Tigers ace Justin Verlander pitch for pitch in Game 2, Gray could not repeat the feat in Game 5. It sounds like an injury, perhaps a rather serious one, is part of the reason why.


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