Josiah Gray cruised through five in Coors Field, and took the mound in the sixth with a 4-0 lead, but the Washington Nationals’ right-hander lost his command, and gave up a leadoff single, back-to-back walks, and a one-out, base-clearing double to center field that got the Colorado Rockies back into the series opener in Denver, CO., 4-3.
Austin Voth, Mason Thompson, and Kyle Finnegan followed Gray on the mound and they kept the Nats up by one through eight, 4-3, before they added to the lead in the ninth, 5-3.
Tanner Rainey locked it down after he gave up a run in the ninth, 5-4 final.
Josiah Gray gave up three hits, four walks, and five earned runs in 5 1⁄3 IP against the Rockies two weeks back in D.C., and manager Davey Martinez said he saw significant improvement from the 23-year-old right-hander, who’d struggled in his last few outings going into that start.
“I thought he threw the ball a lot better today,” Martinez said.
“He looked like he was in sync, for a while there … those 12-13 batters, his tempo was really good, it was a lot better,” the manager said, pointing to a sustained stretch of retired hitters in the middle of the outing.
Gray followed up on that outing with six strong on the mound against the Marlins in which he gave up six hits, a walk, and two earned runs.
Gray said afterwards he thought he was, “controlling the strike zone better, getting in better counts, getting in pitcher-friendly counts, and executing my pitches, but that was definitely a key component.”
Tonight in Coors Field, the righty tossed three scoreless on 37 pitches, then came out in the fourth with a 3-0 lead and worked around a two-out walk, striking out two in what ended up a 21-pitch frame which left him at 58 pitches overall in the game.