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CLE@OAK: Gray fans seven over six shutout innings

Sonny Gray and Erasmo Ramirez, two young right-handers off to promising starts this season, will face off Sunday at 1:05 p.m. PT at Coliseum in Oakland as the A's and Mariners wrap up what turned into a three-game series.

Both clubs wound up staying with their original Sunday starters, even after Friday's game was postponed by unsafe playing conditions following rain that softened the infield in Oakland.

Tommy Milone, originally scheduled to start Saturday, will miss his turn in the rotation as A's manager Bob Melvin bumped Friday starter Dan Straily back to that spot following the weather issue. The Mariners moved scheduled Friday starter Chris Young into the bullpen as a long man for now, staying with Felix Hernandez on Saturday and Ramirez on Sunday.

Hernandez picked up the victory in Saturday's 3-1 win for Seattle, which improved to 4-1 and will shoot for its second series win of the young season in Sunday's finale.

Melvin's rotation switch was offset by having an extra day's rest for a bullpen that had to absorb 30 innings in two days, with a doubleheader Wednesday followed by a 12-inning victory over the Mariners on Thursday.

"That's the biggest thing, is that it gets you out of the routine that's important to you early in the season," Melvin said Saturday. "You play the cards you're dealt. Yesterday, I had a bullpen that probably wasn't anything close to full, and getting them a full day off, we'll be in a lot better shape."

Gray threw six scoreless innings against the Indians in the opener, with five hits, three walks and seven strikeouts in a game the A's wound up losing 2-0.

The 24-year-old right-hander was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts against Seattle last year, allowing just five hits and five walks with 15 strikeouts in 12 innings.

Ramirez, 23, won his season debut against the Angels on Tuesday while allowing six hits and two runs in seven innings. The youngster from Nicaragua was given the No. 2 spot in the rotation after a spring injury to All-Star right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. Ramirez responded with a strong spring (3-0, 1.14 ERA in six games) and followed that up with his quality start against the Angels.

Ramirez sees no reason to change anything as he seeks his first win against the A's after going 0-2 with a 3.78 ERA in four prior appearances.

"I'll just pitch the same, use all my pitches, try to get first-pitch strikes, try to get strikeouts or ground balls," Ramirez said. "That's always my goal: just attack, attack, attack. It was working in spring, so why change?

"That's the same thing my pitching coach said. Don't get crazy. If something has been working all Spring Training, why mess with it now? Everything was working, so keep the same routine."

Mariners: Walker getting closer to return

Top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker threw 72 pitches in a 4 1/3-inning Minor League rehab start on Friday for Class A High Desert, and he will make at least one more start before being ready to join the Mariners.

The 21-year-old was slowed this spring by a sore throwing shoulder, but he allowed just four hits and two runs (one earned) with one walk and seven strikeouts against Inland Empire.

"Everything went great," Mariners skipper Lloyd McClendon said. "He was clean. No setbacks. We'll continue to move forward."

McClendon said it hasn't been determined yet where Walker will make his next start, though he said it'll be at a warm-weather site and he'd likely throw 85-90 pitches.

Athletics: There's no place like home

The A's could only shake their head over the latest Coliseum situation after Friday's game was postponed due to poor field conditions after a heavy overnight rain when the infield wasn't tarped.

That incident just added to the facility's recent woes, which have include sewage backups and flooded clubhouses.

"Love playing here and I love the atmosphere that we have during the game, but it's one of those things where you never know what to expect," reliever Sean Doolittle said. "When something like yesterday happens, you're incredibly frustrated. But you're so frustrated past the point of being angry, you just have to laugh at it.

"The same thing for when the sewage backs up for the third or fourth time. Like, what are you going to do? Get mad again? You have to take in stride, because it's amazing. You never know what's going to happen next."

Worth noting

• Mariners reliever Danny Farquhar struck out four of the first 10 batters he faced this season, putting his career strikeout rate at 12.53 per nine innings. That is the fifth-highest strikeout rate all-time by a pitcher with a minimum of 225 batters faced. The top four are Craig Kimbrel (15.12), Aroldis Chapman (14.68), Kenley Jansen (14.06) and Al Alburquerque (12.96).

• A's catcher John Jaso has 15 walks as a pinch-hitter since 2010, the most by any American League player in that span. Comments