OAKLAND -- A's right-hander Aaron Brooks didn't mind enduring an 11-pitch showdown with Boston's Jackie Bradley Jr. in Monday night's sixth inning.
After all, that stretch of time was nothing compared to the gap between Brooks' previous Major League victory and this one. Besides, Bradley fouled out to left field.
Brooks, Oakland's fifth starter, earned his first big league win since Oct. 2, 2015, which was also his last MLB start, by working six resolute innings in the A's 7-0 win over the Red Sox at Oakland Coliseum.
The 28-year-old Brooks maintained the command that his brethren in the rotation established, yielding two hits while walking one and striking out six. Brooks became Oakland's' fifth consecutive starter to last six innings. During that stretch, those five starters have allowed one run in 30 innings, a 0.30 ERA.
Ryan Buchter, Liam Hendriks, J.B. Wendelken and Fernando Rodney combined to pitch the final three innings and preserve the A's shutout.
A's manager Bob Melvin was duly impressed with Brooks, who threw 86 pitches, 58 strikes.
"He pitched way better than we could expect," Melvin said. "You could see the confidence build as the game went along."
Brooks weathered a hip injury in 2016 and a viral infection last year. Asked whether his comeback resulted more from improved health or a better opportunity, Brooks said, "It's a little bit of everything. Obviously, staying healthy is huge, being in the right spot at the right time kind of helps, and I think the mental side of the game has taken a turn for me."
Brooks made a believer out of Boston right fielder Mookie Betts.
"He was mixing it up," Betts said. "In and out, up and down. He threw everything well, kept it out of the middle of the plate. Got to give credit when credit is due.”