Brooks secures starting spot in 'terrific' debut
A's righty holds Indians to 1 run for 1st MLB win
OAKLAND -- Aaron Brooks' first big league start was nothing to write home about. His second, coming more than a year later and with a different club, had everyone from home crying tears of joy.
Most of them -- including his mom, dad and stepmom -- were in attendance Saturday at the Coliseum, where Brooks celebrated his A's debut with 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball, earning his first career victory in a 5-1 decision over the Indians.
Fans responded with a standing ovation for the right-hander, acquired just four days ago from the Royals in the Ben Zobrist trade.
"I couldn't ask for anything more," Brooks said. "They made me feel so at home, so welcome, and I couldn't thank them enough."
Brooks' uplifting performance, which halted Oakland's three-game losing streak amid an already tough week leading up to the Trade Deadline, was all A's manager Bob Melvin needed to see to award him a permanent spot in his jumbled rotation.
"We had our options open, especially with [Felix] Doubront coming here," Melvin said. "But after an outing like that … I mean, we want to take a look at our young guys, some of the guys that we traded for. We wanted to see how he reacted to pitching at the big league level. It was his first big league win, so it would've been pretty tough to send him down after that.
"That was a terrific game. Exceeded my expectations, whatever they were for him."
Said catcher Stephen Vogt: "What a night for him. He pitched his tail off. Any time you come into a new team, you want to make your first appearance count, and he did that and then some. He took a good lineup over there and shut them down tonight."
Brooks used a mix of each of his four pitches, throwing them all for strikes to keep the Indians guessing throughout. They managed just five hits off the right-hander, the only damaging one a solo homer to Lonnie Chisenhall in the fifth, and struck out five times. Brooks didn't walk a batter.
After the game, following a Gatorade bath from his new teammates, he reminisced on the last time he started a big league game in Toronto, where he was clobbered for seven runs in just 2/3 of an inning on May 31, 2014.
"Coming off the field in the first inning in Toronto, they were clapping for me because I gave up so many runs," he said, smiling. "Now being on the other side in the eighth at home was phenomenal."
"There's nothing like watching somebody have success for the first time in the Major Leagues," Vogt said. "I don't care if you're 30, you're 21, it doesn't matter. It was all about him tonight, and it was fun for me to have the best seat in the house for his first win tonight."