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Jon Gray Throws 5 Scoreless Innings, But Texas Rangers Right-Hander 'Still Not There Yet.'

Jon Gray hasn't allowed a run in eight Cactus League innings, including five, three-hit scoreless innings in the Texas Rangers 7-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.

As the famous philosopher Fernando Lamas once said, "It's better to look good than to feel good."

For Jon Gray, that was the case Thursday in the Texas Rangers' 7-4 Cactus League win over the Cincinnati Reds at Surprise Stadium.

The right-hander tossed five scoreless innings, holding the Reds to three hits with no walks and three strikeouts. He looked marvelous.

But it wasn't good enough for Gray.

"Still not there yet," Gray told reporters. "I just don't feel that sharp."

Specifically, Gray said, his curveball was flat and he had to work around a couple of one-out singles and a lead-off double to start innings.

"I feel like the beginning of each inning it's a little sloppy and then I get into my groove," he said, "but yeah, minus that, I'm decently there, just not all the way."

Gray, who was 9-8 with a 4.12 ERA in 29 starts in 2023, threw 72 pitches, which included a brief bullpen session after the fifth on Thursday night.

Gray hasn't allowed a run and has seven strikeouts in eight Cactus League innings this spring. He threw more sliders because his curveball was ineffective, he said.

"I didn't really feel like my curveball was that great today. We used it well, we used [pitches] well and got out of jams, but it just wasn't that clean overall," he said. "It's kind of nice to get in some situations early on and be able to work out of it. So I like that part.

"We kind of leaned on the slider a little bit more but I feel like it makes the fastball a lot better, and that's the one that usually gets hit for damage. So it's a good plan to have."

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