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Once in a Blue Moon: Graveman play amazes

Righty has first unassisted DP by A's starter since 1971
MLB.com @JaneMLB

ANAHEIM -- Kendall Graveman was saddled with a hard-luck loss in Anaheim on Thursday evening -- his efforts for naught, but not forgotten.

The A's pitcher tumbled, quite literally, into an unassisted double play in the fifth inning, preventing the Angels from expanding a 2-1 lead that would ultimately remain intact, as Oakland succumbed to a three-game sweep.

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ANAHEIM -- Kendall Graveman was saddled with a hard-luck loss in Anaheim on Thursday evening -- his efforts for naught, but not forgotten.

The A's pitcher tumbled, quite literally, into an unassisted double play in the fifth inning, preventing the Angels from expanding a 2-1 lead that would ultimately remain intact, as Oakland succumbed to a three-game sweep.

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"That's probably the best play I've ever seen a pitcher make," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I didn't know how to put that one down on my card."

Video: Must C Crafty: Double play fit for a Blue Moon

"I don't know if I've seen a pitcher do that," Angels manager Mike Scioscia echoed. "That's a tremendous effort on his part."

Only hours removed from the disabled list, a healthy Graveman -- who missed one start with a minor shoulder strain -- managed to escape harm's way on the play, the first unassisted double play by an Oakland pitcher since Blue Moon Odom.

Odom, who was coincidentally in the stands Thursday, had one on July 11, 1971.

"That's really neat," Graveman said. "He told me before the game, 'Hey, I'll be in the front row watching you.' That's pretty neat that that happened."

With runners at the corners and no outs in the fifth, Graveman envisioned a different kind of double play unfolding. Instead, he fielded a comebacker off the bat of Juan Graterol and ran down Ben Revere near the third-base bag while leaping over him to tag a running Cliff Pennington.

Watch Graveman turn incredible unassisted DP

Graveman, allotted a breather after shrugging off the flop, struck out Yunel Escobar to end the inning. He made it through six, holding the Angels to a pair of first-inning runs.

"First thing I asked him was, 'What'd you fall on?'" Melvin said. "He said, 'My butt,' so I said, 'Well, you're all right then.'

"You're not going to see that play again probably."

Video: OAK@LAA: Melvin on Graveman's performance in loss

Said Graveman: "Just trying to save a run there, first of all. To get a double play there without a run scoring is something I really didn't draw up before the pitch, but it happened and it was a positive for us."

The right-hander allowed six hits, struck out four and didn't walk a batter in his first start in 13 days. He was pulled after 84 pitches.

"He was able to get where we wanted him to get, as far as pitches go," Melvin said, "and now he's on to the next one, but certainly pitched well enough to win."

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

Oakland Athletics, Kendall Graveman