Jesse Hahn was denied a win at Globe Life Park on Friday evening, but not because the A's starter didn't deserve one.The right-hander needed just 83 pitches to get through seven innings of one-run ball before handing the ball over to Ryan Dull, who pitched a clean eighth ahead of
Jesse Hahn was denied a win at Globe Life Park on Friday evening, but not because the A's starter didn't deserve one.
The right-hander needed just 83 pitches to get through seven innings of one-run ball before handing the ball over to Ryan Dull, who pitched a clean eighth ahead of Santiago Casilla's ninth-inning meltdown. Texas walked off, 5-2, over the A's, who can find a bright spot in Hahn.
Hahn was teetering on the brink of a demotion, but the A's instead optioned right-hander Jharel Cotton to Triple-A Nashville on Thursday as they prepare for lefty Sean Manaea's return. Hahn subsequently showed why he deserves an extended opportunity.
"I just wanted to be more efficient and fill up the strike zone," Hahn said. "I didn't do too good of a job of that last game, but we were able to get that back on track."
Hahn lasted just 3 2/3 innings in his previous outing against the Tigers but had completed at least six innings in each of his other four starts -- including a win at home against the Rangers on April 19.
Texas managed only four hits against him in Friday's series opener. Hahn struck out three, walked three and induced nine ground-ball outs en route to lowering his ERA to 2.74.
"He's pitched really well," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's been effective in a lot of games, and that's why he's doing what he's doing. But when he's on, he's got a good sinker, which keeps the ball on the ground. Pretty good offspeed pitch today, kind of slowed them down. Good slider at times, had a strikeout or two with the slider, too."
Added catcher Stephen Vogt: "To see him go deep into a game like that on very few pitches, it was good to see. He had really good command with the sinker on both sides of the plate and got some good contact. So a lot of good things from him tonight."
Hahn needed only 10 pitches to get through his final inning of work, retiring Carlos Gomez, Joey Gallo and Delino DeShields in order.
"I was just trying to attack there," Hahn said. "We had the lead, so the last thing I wanted to do is fall behind and having them hurt me that way or walk guys and give them free passes. I got two outs, Yonder [Alonso] shouted over to me and told me to attack this guy, and that's exactly what I did.
"You want to be able to go deep in ballgames, that's what I was thinking out there, get to at least the seventh, keep the pitch count down. That's what I always try to go for."
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.