Sonny Gray (back) cleared to start Monday vs. Orioles

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A’s right-hander Sonny Gray had to be scratched from his last turn in the starting rotation Thursday afternoon against the Blue Jays because of back spasms. But all is well with the Oakland ace …

MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports that Gray, who made it through a 25-pitch bullpen session on Saturday at Camden Yards, has been cleared to start Monday in the Athletics’ series finale versus the Orioles.

Felix Doubront will step back one day and face off against Clayton Kershaw in the A’s series opener against the Dodgers on Tuesday night in Oakland.

Gray, 25, owns an exceptional 2.06 ERA, 0.959 WHIP, and 136/40 K/BB ratio in 161 2/3 innings (23 starts) this season with the A’s.

He is headed toward some serious Cy Young Award consideration.

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.