The bad Sonny Gray surfaced again

The bad Sonny Gray surfaced again

Sonny Gray the long reliever looked a lot like Sonny Gray the starter on Sunday.

And it ended in familiar fashion: with the beleaguered right-hander being booed as he walked off the mound at Yankee Stadium.

Gray’s difficulties in the Yankees’ 7-2 win over the Rangers weren’t entirely of his own doing. He was hurt in part by some soft hits, but the end result was still ugly.

Afterward, manager Aaron Boone said Gray would remain in the bullpen.

Called upon to start the top of the seventh with a seven-run lead, Gray allowed two runs before escaping that inning thanks to two fine plays by Didi Gregorius at shortstop. And then in the eighth, Gray allowed a double down the line and a single before being pulled.

Jonathan Holder got out of the jam, but it was another rough day in The Bronx for Gray, who was bounced out of the rotation last month, but pitched three scoreless innings in his first relief appearance in a 10-inning road win over the White Sox last week.

Asked about his continued struggles — especially at home — Gray denied the added spotlight of pitching at home led to his trouble.

“There was no pressure,” Gray said. “I came into a 7-0 game. Obviously, I knew what the deal was. I wanted to go out there, throw three innings and end the game. I wasn’t able to do that. Holder did a great job.”

Despite Gray’s inability to save the bullpen in the lopsided victory, Boone said he would still call upon Gray, citing his success in his relief debut against the White Sox.

“He was coming off a huge outing for us in Chicago, picking us up big time in getting that win,’’ Boone said. “[Sunday] was a little bit more of a struggle. We’ve got to turn the page and he’s got to be that guy we’ll go to in a long situation or [when we] need innings on a given day. He’s still gonna fill that role.”

Gray gave up two runs on five hits in an inning of work Sunday.

Robinson Chirinos led off the seventh with a ground-ball single through the right side of the infield vacated by the shift. Gray then hung a breaking ball to Joey Gallo, who ripped a double to right. Gregorius made a good play on a chopper by Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the first out before Delino DeShields Jr. reached on an infield hit to drive in the second run.

Gray got the next two outs to finish the inning, but Elvis Andrus opened the eighth with a double down the line and Adrian Beltre ended Gray’s day with a single to left.

He now has a 7.92 ERA in 50 innings this year at Yankee Stadium and a 3.43 ERA on the road. Boone said that would be factored into how he’s used.

“I think that’s part of what you take into consideration,’’ Boone said. “You don’t always have that luxury. His number may very well come up again on this homestand and hopefully he’ll replicate the guy we saw the last time out.”

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