A's edge LA late, reward Fiers' strong debut

A's edge LA late, reward Fiers' strong debut

OAKLAND — Four perfect innings spelled out the beginning of Mike Fiers‘ A’s tenure. The right-hander hardly played shy when introducing himself to the Coliseum crowd, striking out eight of his first 12 batters.

Then the Dodgers got a hit. Yasmani Grandal‘s home run christened the fifth inning, simultaneously erasing Fiers’ bid at a perfect game and a shutout. The A’s won, anyway.


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OAKLAND — Four perfect innings spelled out the beginning of Mike Fiers‘ A’s tenure. The right-hander hardly played shy when introducing himself to the Coliseum crowd, striking out eight of his first 12 batters.

Then the Dodgers got a hit. Yasmani Grandal‘s home run christened the fifth inning, simultaneously erasing Fiers’ bid at a perfect game and a shutout. The A’s won, anyway.


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A two-out rally against Clayton Kershaw in the fourth inning helped facilitate a 3-2 victory, allowing the A’s to split this two-game Interleague set and gain a game on the Mariners for the second American League Wild Card spot. Oakland leads by three with 47 to play.

Video: LAD@OAK: Piscotty opens scoring with single to center

Fiers, responsible for a lone run in 5 1/3 innings, was denied a win after Lou Trivino surrendered a game-tying run in the seventh, but the A’s ensured he would be part of one, going ahead in the eighth when Grandal dropped the ball at home plate and Marcus Semien safely slid past him. Closer Blake Treinen secured his 29th save with a scoreless ninth.

Fiers joined his new club just Monday in a trade from Detroit, leaving behind the dog days of summer for a playoff race. In turn, the A’s expressed hope for more stability in their patchwork rotation to match a powered offense and a trusty bullpen.

So far, so good. Following a Manny Machado double with one out in the sixth, Fiers was pulled at just 78 pitches because of said bullpen, departing to a hearty applause following a fine first impression.

Fiers, who twirled a no-hitter against the Dodgers as a member of the Astros on Aug. 21, 2015, fanned two batters in each of his first four innings, recording first-pitch strikes to 10 of 12 batters in that span. Even after Grandal homered, clobbering a high fastball, and the Dodgers put two more men on base, Fiers quieted the noise by stranding both to keep the lead intact.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Semien collected his second single of the night in the eighth, advancing to third when Jed Lowrie stroked a one-out single to right to bring Khris Davis to the plate with runners at the corners. Facing right-hander J.T. Chargois, Davis fell behind, 1-2, before fouling off three straight pitches and sending a sharp grounder to Machado at third. The infielder fired home, seemingly in time, but Semien was ruled safe when Grandal lost control of the ball.

Video: LAD@OAK: Semien races home to give A’s lead in 8th

UP NEXT
The A’s will enjoy an off-day in Anaheim on Thursday, before beginning a three-game series with the Angels on Friday. Lefty Brett Anderson (2-3, 4.64 ERA) gets the ball in the 7:07 p.m. PT series opener at Angel Stadium, while the Angels counter with right-hander Felix Pena (1-3, 4.97 ERA).

Jane Lee has covered the A’s for MLB.com since 2010.

Published at Thu, 09 Aug 2018 05:11:15 +0000

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