After Sonny Gray threw six innings of two-run ball in Monday's 2-1 loss to the Houston Astros, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the team will plan for Austin Romine to catch Gray for the near future when the schedule permits as opposed to Gary Sanchez.
"I think his next start is probably that Saturday when we're at home (against Cleveland), which will be a day game after a night game," Boone said, according to Newsday's Erik Boland. "So especially in those kind of scenarios, when it makes sense, at least in the short term, we'll do that."
With Romine behind the plate on Monday, Gray threw six innings, tying his longest outing of the year, for the second time this season and the first time since April 7. Gray guessed, according to ESPN's Coley Harvey, he only shook off Romine once.
"He adapts to the flow of the game really well," Gray said of Romine, according to The Athletic's Marc Carig.
Romine has caught Gray four times this season, and the 28-year-old Gray has a 3.92 ERA in those starts. With Sanchez behind the plate, however, Gray has given up 11 runs and 12 hits in 6 1/3 innings. Last year, Gray found similar success with Romine as well, having a 1.45 ERA in three games, whereas he totaled a 4.63 ERA with eight games throwing to Sanchez.
"I think it's just confidence in general," Romine said of working with Gray, according to Boland. "I can't sit here and take any credit for a guy that has that kind of movement on his pitches. Really, it's just me getting out of the way and allowing him to get into a rhythm."
Gray allowed a run in the first inning when George Springer singled, advanced to second on a balk, reached third on a groundout and scored on another groundout. He retired the side in order in the second and third innings before running into trouble in the fourth.
Yuli Gurriel hit an RBI double with nobody out to set up the Astros with runners on second and third. After a fielder's choice and a walk, Gray, who had been 0-1 with an 11.45 ERA in his previous three starts, limited the damage by pitching out of the bases-loaded jam, striking out Marwin Gonzalez and getting Brian McCann to line out to right.
"I think it's a step in the right direction for me personally," Gray said, according to Boland.