The red hot Toronto Blue Jays caught a break in Thursday's matinee match-up with the Oakland Athletics.

Right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray - who was scheduled to start for the A's - was scratched due to back spasms, according to the team's official Twitter account.

The 25-year-old possesses an American League-best 2.06 earned-run average. He also ranks in the American league's top-five in wins (12, tied for fourth), innings-pitched (161.2, third) and WHIP (0.959, first).

Jesse Chavez started in Gray's place. The 31-year-old Chavez is 6-11 with a 3.73 ERA.

Toronto took sole possession of first place in the American League East Wednesday night with a 10-3 victory over the A's, combined with the New York Yankees' 2-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians. The Blue Jays have won 10 straight games and 13 of 14 since shortstop Troy Tulowitzki joined the team from the Colorado Rockies.