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Gray struggles to get ahead vs. D-backs

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Sonny Gray was targeted for 45 pitches on Thursday, but the A's righty needed 35 of them in the first inning, and that's all the action he would see against the D-backs.

Gray struggled to get ahead of almost all eight of his batters, with five collecting hits and four scoring runs in his second spring start.

"It's tough getting hit around like that, but coming out of the game I felt really good," Gray said, "and my body and arm feel really good."

"They hit some fastballs up, out over the plate off him," manager Bob Melvin said. "He's going to have some outings like that. We don't really worry about him. Just threw a lot of fastballs today."

And changeups. Gray's curveball, meanwhile, was used just once on the day.

"As good as my changeup was last week, it was up and got hit pretty hard today," Gray said. "It's just something that's going to take a little more work. Maybe next week I'm going to just get back to pitching and trying to get guys out, whether it's throwing more breaking balls or what not.

"It all comes down to getting ahead of guys, and I just didn't do that."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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