Oakland A’s Game #48: Mike Minor shuts out Mariners 9-0, A’s salvage doubleheader split

After earning an All-Star berth and Cy Young votes in 2019, Mike Minor has struggled this summer, with his velocity down and his ERA way up. His first two appearances for the Oakland A’s this month were more of the same, but on Monday he finally showed the upside they were hoping for when they acquired him at the trade deadline.

Minor went the distance in the second game of the day’s doubleheader, spinning a seven-inning, two-hit shutout against the Seattle Mariners and helping the A’s win 9-0 and salvage a split after dropping the first half earlier in the day. In the opening contest they got off to a 5-0 lead and watched the Mariners sail back in for a comeback win, but they didn’t repeat that bad fortune in the nightcap, once again building a 5-0 advantage and this time taking it to the house — with help from all three of their newest veteran additions.

*** Revisit tonight’s Game Thread! ***

The southpaw Minor carved through the Mariners lineup from start to finish, allowing just four baserunners (two hits, two walks) and facing only two batters over the minimum. Seattle didn’t even reach second base until a double in the final frame, and at one point Minor retired 15-of-17 batters and eliminated the only two runners during that span — one on a pickoff and the other via a double play.

It seemed like every time you looked down, Minor had a two-strike count, and he struck out eight batters on the night. He even helped his cause with a nifty defensive play, covering first base on a grounder and then receiving the throw with his bare hand.

Minor: 7 ip, 0 runs, 8 Ks, 2 BB, 2 hits, 102 pitches (65 strikes)

The lefty still only worked in the 90-92 mph range (avg 90.3), with one pitch as high as 92.7, but he pounded the zone, changed speeds and eye levels, and earned a whopping 19 swinging strikes (16 on his fastball). He credited rookie catcher Jonah Heim with calling a good game and bringing out the best in him, via insider Martin Gallegos:


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