OAKLAND -- In his first start returning from the disabled list with a right triceps strain, A's right-hander Jesse Hahn picked up his second win of the season, beating the Blue Jays, 4-1, on Tuesday night.
Hahn threw six solid innings for the A's, allowing a single unearned run, while scattering seven hits and just one walk. Hahn, who struck out two, said he thought his stuff was the best it had been all season.
"I felt really good," Hahn said. "I felt my offspeed stuff was good, and I think that might have been the best sinker I had all year."
Hahn was able to dance out of trouble thanks to the ground ball, picking up inning-ending double plays in the first and the fourth innings. A's manager Bob Melvin said the fourth inning one was especially crucial after Toronto scored its only run of the game earlier in the frame.
"It seemed like he potentially got three that inning," Melvin said. "When he needed to get a ground ball, he got it. No bigger than the bases loaded one because he gives up a hit there, now it's a whole different ballgame and his pitch count goes up even more, and now he's got more traffic on the bases. That was probably the key at-bat of the game for him."
Melvin said that velocity was a concern in his last start before his DL stint, when he only got six outs and was pulled in the third against the Marlins. That night, his velocity dipped down to 90 mph in the third.
On this night, Hahn's fastball velocity was back up around 93-94 mph, reaching as high as 95.2 mph, according to Statcast™. It's right in line with what both Hahn and A's catcher Stephen Vogt wanted to see.
"The first fastball I threw in the game, I had to peek up there and see what it was," Hahn said. "Once you see that, it's kind of a relief, and then it's back to square one and getting guys out."
Vogt added: "I didn't even check the radar gun today, which is a good thing. A lot of times, the only time I'll check it is when I think the fastball isn't as firm as normal. He was great. He looked smooth, he looked like he was feeling good and was really getting through the zone with this delivery."
Hahn is set to start again Sunday in Tampa Bay against the Rays. In Melvin's eyes, the fact that Hahn was able go six innings while on a pitch count is one of the best signs going forward.
"Considering 90 [pitches] was going to be the number, he almost hit it right on the head if not right on the head," Melvin said. "For a guy coming back from a DL stint and a short rehab start, I thought he pitched really well."